Film companies begin boycotting Georgia over pro-life heartbeat abortion ban

Saturday, 11 May, 2019

Busy took Georgia lawmakers to task on Tuesday night's episode of her late night talk show "Busy Tonight", as she blasted politicians for trying to control people's bodies, insisting it will only put desperate women at more risk as they seek alternative methods of termination.

According to Film LA, 15 of the top 100 domestic films in 2017 were shot in Georgia, the most of any US state. If not blocked by the court, the ban will take effect on January 1, 2020. Georgia has flourished as Disney, Sony, MTV, Lionsgate and numerous other companies have shot films there.

The controversy stems from Georgia's Living Infants Fairness and Equality Act, which could ban abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy.

David Simon's Blown Deadline Productions, Killer Films CEO Christine Vachon, and Mark Duplass have vowed to boycott the state, noted Hollywood Reporter.

"Killer Films will no longer consider Georgia as a viable shooting location until this ridiculous law is overturned", Vachon wrote, citing her NY company, which is behind a number of iconic films.

Georgia is not the first state to pass such restrictive abortion legislation.

Georgia follows states like Kentucky, Mississippi and OH, which have also passed similar bills.

After legislators in Georgia first passed House Bill 481, the ACLU announced it will be suing the state government. Under the bill signed by Gov. Brian Kemp, abortions are prohibited if a fetal heartbeat is detected in the womb. The Alabama legislation does not provide exceptions for instances of rape or incest. Alyssa Milano and her 49 co-signers will simply have to find work elsewhere, if that's what they choose.

Currently, women in the state can get abortions until 20 weeks of pregnancy.

During bill signing ceremony, Planned Parenthood Southeast held a press conference on the capitol steps to speak against the bill, while pro-choice demonstrators protested outside.

National opponents include Hillary Clinton said the proposed law amounted to a total ban on abortions in the state.

"I think Georgia has to realize that while we're enjoying an extraordinary boom in the film industry, there is nothing that says it has to stay here", she said.

In recent years, Georgia has become one of the go-to states for productions looking to film largely on the strength of tax incentives. The idea of punishing and jailing people who have had abortions, what we used to dismiss as being a few far-right loons, is encroaching further and further into "normal" discourse, to the point where otherwise reasonable adults are talking about "seeing both sides" as though the side that involves punishing women for the contents of their uteruses is an actual viable possibility we should all consider thoughtfully.