The Fertility Crisis (Series) is an enduring event in The Handmaid's Tale (Series). Prior to the creation of Gilead, the United States--along with the rest of the world--was experiencing a severe fertility crisis.
Depiction of the CrisisEdit
When getting pregnant, June tells Moira that five women at her work had miscarriages.
Flashback scene from Birth Day
In the hospital, Hannah's birth reveals as the only fortunate of that night: Apart from two casualties, all babies are stillborn. A desperate woman later tries to kidnap June's daughter, claiming the baby is hers.
Researches outside Gilead Edit
Gilead Propaganda and Ideology Edit
Social and Political ReactionsEdit
Before Gilead Edit
Joseph Lawrence's bibliography documents "problematic populist upheavals" and a "religious revival" as social responses to the fertility crisis.
As a means of addressing the crisis, the U.S. government enacts several policies, such as making it illegal for a man to undergo a vasectomy, and requiring husbands to formally consent to their wives filling birth control prescriptions.
When June is called away from work to go pick up Hannah from the hospital because of a fever, a nurse asks her a bunch of questions about her capacity as a parent, blaming her for missing parental care due to her full-time job.
After the Takeover Edit
Birth control is illegal and the penalty for using birth control is to be eaten by dogs.
Fertility as a "national resource": In A Woman's Place, the local admistration organizes a gala dinner to honour Gilead and show the foreign delegates their success, including presenting the children of Gilead. Serena Joy instructs Aunt Lydia to "remove the damaged ones" of the handmaids from the banquet due to their visible mutilations done by the regime. Alma later remarks to Offred that the delegates are interested in fertile women as a commodity to be traded between the two nations.