HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – A popular Hulu show and a city council meeting aren’t normally something talked about in the same conversation, but that’s the case this week in Huntington.
Huntington City Council member Tia Rumbaugh displayed and explained symbols of the pro-choice movement at the council’s meeting on Monday, Sept. 26 to make a point about abortion laws in West Virginia.
One of those symbols was a costume from the “Handmaid’s Tale,” a novel and now popular television series, which depicts a dystopian future where women are dominated by men.
“It seems like every symbol, every issue around abortion is controversial that there’s no right answer no one symbol that can unify all of us and if we can’t be unified at least all of us can speak out,” she said.
In addition to the outfit, Rumbaugh also brought a coat hanger which she says is also controversial but it represents a time when abortions were not legal and women were forced to take drastic and sometimes deadly actions to end their pregnancies.
The final item she brought was a green bandana which became a symbol of the movement in Latin America by the organization Catholics for the Right to Decide.
“It is a new symbol of hope, of perseverance and unity on a global scale,” she said at the meeting.
In response to her demonstration, Rumbaugh says she has received some backlash. Some people told her the demonstration was “insensitive,” while others said a public meeting wasn’t the right time or place to address the issue.
“If not now when and if not in this manner what manner can we educate our constituents our residents i have a very small voice and my voice is only the amplification of everyone else’s voices within our community.”
At least one council member stood in support for Rumbaugh.
“She spoke during ‘good and welfare’ about the recent abortion law in West Virginia and to be honest I thought it was a beautiful expression of her first amendment right,” said Holly Smith Mount, Chairwoman of the Huntington City Council.
Rumbaugh said she won’t be wearing the “Handmaid’s Tale” costume to another meeting, but she will continue to wear the green bandana as a symbol to speak up and standup for women’s rights.