Hollywood A-Listers Threaten Boycott Over Georgia’s Anti-Abortion Bill

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 29, 2016: The Hollywood sign overlooking Los Angeles. The iconic sign was originally created in 1923. (Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com)

Hollywood’s A-listers have banded together to push Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to veto the state’s highly controversial “heartbeat bill,”  legislation that would prohibit women from seeking an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. Meanwhile, the governors of Pennsylvania and New Jersey are seizing the opportunity to coax producers to move their productions from Georgia to their states by advertising their own tax incentives and pro-abortion rights laws.

A petition created by Alyssa Milano, who is currently in Atlanta filming her Netflix series “Insatiable” was signed by more than 100 high profile celebrities including Amy Schumer, Alec Baldwin, and Judd Apatow. Milano wrote that if the bill passed, “we cannot in good conscience continue to recommend our industry remain in Georgia.”

This news comes after Writers Guild of America, East and West (WGA) wrote in a letter shared on Twitter that they “urge Gov. Kemp to veto the bill.”

The WGA letter noted if members were to boycott filming in Georgia, “the cost would be most deeply felt by the residents of Georgia — including those who directly work in the film and television industry, and those who benefit from the many millions of dollars it pours into the local economy.”

Georgia’s economy thrives off of the movie business. The state rolled out tax incentives in 2008 to lure Hollywood to the state. The state was once listed as the number one filming location in the world with the most productions filming in Georgia.

Following the “heartbeat bill” controversy, other states has stepped up to promote their own film tax incentives including Pennslyvania. 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.”

Shapiro then tweeted entertainment projects that would be eligible for tax incentives in Pennsylvania.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted that he was meeting “with film industry reps in CA to make the case for choosing NJ over anti-choice states like GA.”

“States that claim to be a good value for business need to demonstrate the right values, including standing up for women’s rights,” he tweeted.

Georgia’s so-called “heartbeat bill” — officially known as the “Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act” — passed the state’s House on Friday, and could be signed into law any day by the governor, who expressed support for the bill.

“The legislature’s bold action reaffirmed our priorities and who we are as a state,” Kemp tweeted on Friday. “I thank these lawmakers for their leadership and applaud their undeniable courage.”

It is important to note Georgia is not alone. States around the United States have pursued similar legislation, though none have been successful in actually implementing the bans. According to CBS News, Republican governors in governors in Mississippi and Kentucky have recently signed heartbeat abortion bans, while lawmakers in Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina and Ohio have introduced similar legislation.

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