Crafty Houston seamstress Michelle Sinched has stitched up a plan to protest the new abortion law: a line of Rick Perry "Gov. Goodhair" voodoo dolls. The proceeds from the doll sales support Planned Parenthood.
In an email, Sinched told CultureMap the handmade dolls are selling so fast that she started a waiting list because she can't keep up with the demand. "I really only expected to sell a half dozen or so to some friends and that would be the end of it," she said.
Last week, Sinched began offering the dolls on her Facebook page, where she nicknamed herself "the stitch witch." She now has a Facebook page called "The Witches Stitches" for the sale of the dolls. To promote it, she posted:
There are two types of dolls, one casually dressed in a shirt that reads "I [coat hanger] Texas Women" and one dressed in a suit. The doll comes with a blank sign that can be personalized, along with three handmade tampon pins for sticking in the doll. She is selling the business-themed Perry for $30, the casual Perry for $25 and the pair for $50.
Each doll takes about an hour to make, and the pins take about four to five minutes each to complete, according to Sinched. "Sewing and knitting have always been considered 'women's work,' so it is fun to take a womanly job and throw it back at an annoyingly patriarchal group," she said.
But her protest also has a serious side. "I want people to realize that the freedoms and rights our grandmothers fought so hard for are being stripped away," she said. "If we don't do something about it, what will happen next?"
On July 18, Perry signed the bill that gives Texas some of the toughest restrictions on abortion in the country. The law bans abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, requires abortion clinics to meet the same standards as hospital-style surgical centers, and mandates that a doctor have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles from the facility where he or she performs abortions.
Abortion rights advocates believe the law could force a majority of the state's 42 abortion clinics to close and vowed to challenge the law's legality in court.
"I don't care what side of the abortion debate someone is on. If you don't like abortions, don't have one," said Sinched, who considers herself pro-choice and pro-life. "Stay out of other women's private lives, including their reproductive healthcare."