#TheHandmaidsTale has become more than a hit show for the streaming service Hulu. It's now an inspiration for political protests by women who feel oppressed by restrictive reproductive rights laws. About a dozen women showed up at the hearing for Ohio Senate Bill 145 on Monday afternoon dressed as characters from "The Handmaid's Tale." The bill seeks to criminalize those performing an #abortion in their second trimester. The bill is sponsored by Republican Senators Matt Huffman and Steve Wilson. The bill states that there may be an exception in the case that the mother's life is in danger or subject to "substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function."'

'The Handmaid's Tale' phenomenon

"The Handmaid's Tale" is a dystopian novel by Margaret Atwood that was published in 1985 that became a bestseller at the time.

It's seen a huge resurgence in popularity thanks to a filmed adaption of the book now on Hulu, starring Elisabeth Moss and Joseph Fiennes. The story focuses on an alternate reality in which the United States government has been overthrown by an extreme Christian conservative group which has rounded up the few fertile women left in the country and subjected them to systemic rape for impregnation by the leaders of the movement. Women in "The Handmaid's Tale" are forbidden from reading, writing, or speaking more than a handful of prescribed phrases

Members of the pro-choice group NARAL posted photos of the protesters on Twitter:

New abortion regulations under debate

If passed, the state Senate bill would ban the "dilation and evacuation" procedure for women after the thirteenth week of pregnancy.

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Doctors performing the procedure at this time would be subject to a fourth degree felony. Those supporting the bill state that it is a barbaric procedure which can be felt by the unborn fetus.

This is not the first time that pro-choice protesters have used "The Handmaid's Tale" costumes to make their voices of dissent heard regarding abortion limitations. In May, a group of women dressed as Handmaids staged a protest in Dallas, Texas calling attention to the fact that 30 abortion restrictions and limitations have been introduced in government in 2017. Women at the protest wore signs calling attention to issues such as forced sonograms and 24 hour waiting periods for women seeking an abortion.

"The Handmaid's Tale" has already been renewed for a second season on Hulu and has become the streaming service's biggest original hit to date.