Clothes came to symbolize a lot during the U.S. election. Pantsuits, pussy bow blouses, and even merch were colored with new meaning throughout the campaign. And it doesn't seem like that's going to change any time soon, even with a new president in office.
Much like folks picked up on Hillary Clinton's suffragette white outfit for President Donald Trump's Inauguration, many immediately spotted Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts in the crowd, in part because of her bright pink scarf.
In light of Republican efforts to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act (and defund Planned Parenthood in the process), female members of Congress decided to stand in solidarity for women's access to health care quietly, but not subtly — and they did so with clothing. See, Senator Warren accessorized her black peacoat with a pink scarf that was apparently official Planned Parenthood merch.
Senator Warren wasn't alone, though. Multiple female members of Congress in the audience were spotted wearing bright pink scarves in support of the organization. Senator Patty Murray of Washington explained her outfit choice in a lengthy Facebook post. "In moments like these, small gestures matter," she wrote. "So here's what I am doing: I am going to proudly and prominently wear my pink Planned Parenthood scarf to this Inauguration. I hope President-elect Trump sees it, and I hope he understands what it means and who I am there to represent: the millions of people in Washington state and across the country who reject hatred and division, and will fight back against any attempts to roll back the progress we've made."
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Representative Cheri Bustos of Illinois also posted a picture of her color-coded wardrobe: She posed at the U.S. Capitol alongside colleagues "wearing #ProtectOurCare buttons and pink scarves or jackets" in solidarity. "Here to support the peaceful exchange of power in the greatest democracy on Earth," she wrote. Representative Chellie Pingree of Maine, one of the members of Congress boycotting President Trump's Inauguration, meanwhile, decided to visit a Planned Parenthood health center instead.
Earlier this week, Senator Warren was in Boston, with over 600 of her constituents, protesting the rollback of the Affordable Care Act, Politico reported. A few days later, she was back in Washington, D.C., this time for a forum to discuss the implications of having Senator Tom Price confirmed as Secretary of Health and Human Services and the threat it poses to Planned Parenthood, specifically, according to Teen Vogue. The fight's only just begun — and these female members of Congress have the wardrobe to prove it.
We've reached out to Planned Parenthood for comment, and will update our story when we hear back.
Looking for more stories about the continuing fight for reproductive rights? Watch Shatterbox Anthology’s “Lucia, Before and After” above. This short film from director Anu Valia takes an unflinching look at the barriers to choice still faced by women across the United States.
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