Georgia Passed a 'Heartbeat' Abortion Bill. Now Hollywood's Elite Threatens to Boycott.
By David Matthews
Hollywood's elite are joining together to call on Republican governor Brian Kemp to veto Georgia's new anti-abortion heartbeat bill.
Georgia lawmakers approved the legislation, which bars women from abortion procedures if a "fetal heartbeat" is detected--something that can happen as early as six weeks into a pregnancy--on Friday. If enacted, the new law would reduce the amount of time a woman can legally have an abortion in the state by 14 weeks.
Responding to the bill, actress Alyssa Milano started a petition to urge Kemp to veto the bill otherwise she, and others, would not be able to work in Georgia "in good conscience."
Actors Don Cheadle, Debra Messing, Sean Penn and many more signed onto Milano's petition.
The Writers Guild of America also wrote a letter to Kemp, calling for a veto.
Georgia hands out the most tax credits to film and TV productions in the United States and has drawn large-scale movies and TV shows like "Avengers: Infinity War" and "The Walking Dead." The state claimed that productions directly spent $2.7 billion in 2018 and the overall economic impact is closer to $10 billion.
Kemp said in February that over 200,000 Georgia residents work in the entertainment industry.
In response, the governors of other states are advertising their states' tax credits and lack of draconian anti-choice laws.
Pennsylvania Gov. John Shapiro tweeted on Sunday, "Roe is the law -- I protect it every day. Any state that guts women's rights won't succeed." He included a list of productions that are eligible for tax credits in the state.
"Tomorrow, @FirstLadyNJ and I will meet with film industry reps in CA to make the case for choosing NJ over anti-choice states like Georgia," New Jersey governor Phil Murphy tweeted. "States that claim to be a good value for business need to demonstrate the right values, including standing up for women's rights. #HB481"
Stacey Abrams, who Kemp defeated in a narrow election marred by voting rights concerns, got in on the action, as well.
"Georgia is the only international film hub threatening to limit a woman's access to care," Abrams tweeted. "This hasn't been an issue before because LA, NYC, Vancouver & Toronto know better. Trust women & their doctors. And tread carefully."
Lawmakers in other states have tried to pass similar legislation in the past, but have so far been unsuccessful.
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