This is not actually true.
Atwood’s inspiration was the People Of Hope.
The Federalist Society’s list of approved Supreme Court nominees, from which the nominee will be drawn, has a handful of youngish women wingnuts, two of whom seem to top the list for the vacancy created by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The two sucking up most of the oxygen in the speculation, and whom power-addled Donald Trump seems to be able to keep in his head, are over-the-top extremist and extremist: Amy Coney Barrett, representing The Handmaid’s Tale as societal model wing, and Barbara Lagoa, the quid pro quo choice. Starting with Barrett: She does indeed belong to an extreme, charismatic wing of the Catholic Church called People of Praise, which actually did serve as the inspiration for Margaret Atwood in her dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale. The book was published in 1985 after Atwood “delayed writing it for about three years after I got the idea because I felt it was too crazy,” she told The New York Times Book Review in 1986. “Then two things happened. I started noticing that a lot of the things I thought I was more or less making up were now happening, and indeed more of them have happened since the publication of the book.” Specifically: “There is a sect now, a Catholic charismatic spinoff sect, which calls the women handmaids. They don’t go in for polygamy of this kind but they do threaten the handmaids according to the biblical verse I use in the book—sit down and shut up.” Yeah, that’s Barrett’s church. Except they’ve dropped the “head” moniker for male leadership and “handmaids” title for women who keep their fellow women in line because the television series based on the novel forced a change. They are now all called “leaders,” who direct such intimate life decisions of members as who they marry, where they live, and how they raise their children.