By Meredith Clark. Photos: Getty Images.
Like many women these days, Hillary Clinton can see similarities between current times and Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale.
During a speech Tuesday night at Planned Parenthood's 100th-anniversary gala, Clinton drew comparisons between Atwood's dystopian novel—and its Hulu adaptation—and the measures being taken by the Republican party to curtail women's rights, particularly in their efforts to strip Planned Parenthood of its federal funding.
"I'm not suggesting this dystopian future is around the corner, but the show has prompted an important conversation about women's rights and autonomy," the former secretary of state said. "In The Handmaid's Tale, women's rights are gradually, slowly stripped away. As one character says, 'We didn't look up from our phones until it was too late.' It is not too late for us, but we have to encourage the millions of women and men who support Planned Parenthood's mission to keep fighting."
Clinton, who was being honored by the health care provider for her years of dedication to uplifting girls and women, used her address to rebuke the GOP and their efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, specifically calling out one of the most meme-able moments from the health care negotiations: the photo a table of men—and only men—deciding against securing coverage for pregnancy and maternity care.
"As we speak, politicians in Washington are still doing everything they can to roll back the rights and progress we've fought so hard for over the last century," Clinton said. "I mean, could you believe those photos of men around that conference table deciding how to strip away coverage for pregnancy and maternity care?"
Calling it a "disturbing blast from the past," Clinton went on to specifically call out the Trump administration and chastised her former opponent for the actions he's taken regarding women's health, like naming anti-abortion activist Charmaine Yoest to a top communications role within the Department of Health and Human Services.
"Just this week we learned that the administration appointed someone to lead our nations' family program who doesn't believe in birth control," Clinton said. "While we narrowly averted a disaster with the budget, we can't for one second think our fight is over. Right now, they're trying to jam through a health care plan that would cost 24 million people their health insurance and gut funding for Planned Parenthood."
As she concluded her remarks, Clinton made a light-hearted reference to her brief respite from the public eye following the 2016 election—"I highly recommend long walks in the woods—it is far healthier than screaming at your television," she said—but made clear that women and men must be vigilant and keep fighting against regressive policies.
"Just remember four words," she said. "Resist, insist, persist, enlist."
This story originally appeared on Glamour.
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