Protesters dressed as ‘Handmaids’ plan to greet Vice President Mike Pence at Colorado GOP fundraiser

Author: Ernest Luning - October 25, 2017 - Updated: December 28, 2017

Activists dressed as characters from “The Handmaid’s Tale” chant in the Texas Capitol Rotunda as they protest SB8, a bill that would require health care facilities, including hospitals and abortion clinics, to bury or cremate any fetal remains whether from abortion, miscarriage or stillbirth, on Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Protesters dressed like characters in the novel and TV series “The Handmaid’s Tale” plan to greet Vice President Mike Pence Thursday outside a fundraiser for Colorado Republicans in Greenwood Village.

“By wearing the handmaid’s red cape and white bonnet, we will send a strong message to Pence and the administration that we demand freedom and autonomy for women in all areas of our lives, as well as members of marginalized communities everywhere,” protest organizer Dana Miller of the Indivisible Denver group said in a statement.

The outfits, depicted in Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel, have  become familiar sights at Pence appearances. In the book and a Hulu TV show that began airing this year, women are treated as property in a fundamentalist society — a warning, Miller said, of the “potentially terrifying, dystopian future where women have no rights and are relegated to child-bearers only” that could result from policies supported by Pence, a former GOP governor of Indiana.

“The ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ is not an instruction manual, it’s a warning,” read a sign held by a red-robed protester who stood across the street from a Pence appearance in June at Focus on the Family headquarters in Colorado Springs.

A spokesman for the Colorado GOP shrugged off the Handmaids and their plans.

“Peaceful protests are in the best tradition of America — and silly costumes in the best tradition of late October,” Daniel Cole told Colorado Politics.

Citing “popular demand” for more affordable options, state Republicans last week dropped the price of the least expensive tickets from from $275 to $150 for the fundraiser.

The protest will feature speakers from Planned Parenthood, One Colorado, NARAL Pro Choice Colorado, the ACLU Colorado and Interfaith Alliance of Colorado discussing “the impact of policies that control women’s bodies and healthcare choices, and the patriarchal attitudes that undermine women’s freedom, personal experiences, and desired outcomes,” organizers said.

Groups involved in organizing the demonstration include several groups affiliated with the Indivisible movement, as well as Colorado Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice and the Colorado chapter of the Environmental Defense Fund’s political action organization.

The fundraiser is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. at the Denver Marriott Tech Center. Protesters say they’ll be there from 3:30-5:30 p.m.

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.