In an interview regarding The Handmaid’s Tale, Ann Dowd spoke out against the abortion bans that have been sweeping the country. Ann Dowd — who won an Emmy in 2017 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series — plays the God-fearing Aunt Lydia in The Handmaid’s Tale who turns women into concubines and punishes them for their defiance.
When asked about the abortion bans, Ann Dowd said that “it’s absolutely disgusting to me. Go to church and ask for forgiveness: That’s my advice to all of you who are dying to shut down women’s rights.”
A wave of new laws have been passed that restrict or ban abortions in states like Alabama, Georgia, and Missouri. Although the legislation has not yet taken effect, pro-choice activists have been referencing Margaret Atwood’s increasingly relevant novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, for inspiration when staging their protests against attempts to overturn Roe V. Wade. Ann Dowd has a strong stance in regards to the polarizing debate.
“The drama and the sensationalizing from the point of view of the people who want to pass these bills is appalling,” Ann Dowd said. “I’m enraged about how the situation is being portrayed.”
Pro-choice activists point to The Handmaid’s Tale as a cautionary tale about what the world might look like if people were stripped of their reproductive rights and had no freedom to choose. Ann Dowd joins a growing list of celebrities who have spoken out against the abortion laws, among them Alyssa Milano, Lady Gaga, Ava DuVernay, Reese Witherspoon, and Chris Evans.
After Alabama lawmakers passed the abortion bill in May, activists dressed in red capes as characters from The Handmaid’s Tale have protested outside of state capitol buildings. Senator Kamala Harris, a candidate for the 2020 election, likened the passage of the anti-abortion bill to Margaret Atwood’s unsettling vision of the future.
In regards to Margaret Atwood, author of the dystopian novel upon which The Handmaid’s Tale is based, Ann Dowd said: “She is one of the most intelligent, sharpest people. She’s way ahead of the game, and I like her tremendously. She’s not shy about identifying who’s wrong.
Season 3 of The Handmaid’s Tale will return June 5 on Hulu.