Women Dressed as Handmaids Are Protesting Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court Confirmation Hearing

September 4, 2018, 3:01 PM UTC

Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, expected to be met by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee at his confirmation hearing Tuesday morning.

But it wasn’t just senators who made an appearance. The hearing, which is open to the public, also featured a colorful cast of characters. Handmaids, to be precise.

Around a dozen women, dressed in the iconic red robes and white bonnets of Margaret Atwood’s book The Handmaid’s Tale stood outside the hearing room Tuesday to protest Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

The women are with an organization called Demand Justice, which is a liberal advocacy group. In a statement provided to The Hill, they said they were there to highlight Kavanaugh’s “anti-abortion, anti-healthcare, and anti-women views,” noting that he is an “extremist ideologue who, if confirmed to the Supreme Court, will take away women’s basic rights.”

Trump’s decision to nominate Kavanaugh has come under intense scrutiny in the last couple months, as Kavanaugh’s stance on Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that enshrined the right to abortion, is unclear. Republican Sen. Susan Collins sought to alleviate the concerns of predominantly Democrats last week, telling reporters that Kavanaugh believes Roe v. Wade is “settled law.” But many supporters of the ruling are unconvinced—leading to Tuesday’s protest.

This is not the first time that the handmaid outfits have made a political appearance. Since the book was adapted into a wildly successful Hulu series in early 2017, women have donned the unmistakable red robes to protest everything from a health care bill that would defund Planned Parenthood to anti-abortion legislation in Texas.

Kavanaugh will face several days of confirmation hearings. It is unclear whether the protesters plan to continue their demonstration throughout its duration.

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