Roe’s Fall Brought Us Closer to Gilead — Worse, I Fear a New Salem

Roe was a stronghold for women’s rights, but now I fear old foes are again at the gates.

Rui Alves
5 min readJun 25, 2022


Lorie Shaull on Wikimedia Commons

Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale is a fabulous work of fiction portraying a dystopian future with strokes of gloom and doom that nevertheless seem to become more plausible by the minute in our patriarchal-oriented society.

Atwood’s novel is considered “speculative fiction,” as the author imagines a future that could happen without any technological advances over the present. The beauty of speculative fiction is that the overarching narrative is based on a chain of events that could actually happen. The author knows that art imitates life. Atwood has even conveyed that her book was inspired by social and political events of the early 1980s.

Atwood is a sharp writer that believes words have power, but she is also clairvoyant of the human soul. Lately, I’ve enjoyed reading about how she brilliantly skirmishes against the Supreme Court’s posture regarding abortion rights, claiming the justices are turning her work of fiction into a harsh reality.

I stand with those who have raised their voices against the decision to overturn Roe. I see why many believe it may move us all one step closer to a new reality that parallels the gloomy future portrayed by the Republic of Gilead.

Roe’s fall is so mindboggling that it creates a sense of utopia that traverses our society, and suddenly nobody seems to know where it will take us.

Many, like former U.S. President Barack Obama, are wary of seeing the Supreme Court reverse nearly 50 years of precedent. Others like President Joe Biden believe the decision set the nation back even further, comparing the ruling to state laws criminalizing abortion from the 1800s.

Those who were quick to draw comparisons with The Handmaid’s Tale on social media are drawn to the obvious, as the novel reflected the American grip on conservatism with the election of Ronald Reagan as president and the influential lobbying organizations supported by the rise of the Christian Right.

What we see now in 2022 draws parallels with what happened forty years ago during the Reagan…



Rui Alves

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