In March, Georgia became the latest state to challenge reproductive rights by introducing a “heartbeat” abortion bill. The proposed legislation, known as House Bill 481, would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is present—at around six weeks gestation (and before many women even know they are pregnant). Now, a group of actors, led by Alyssa Milano, has taken a stand against this restrictive bill.
On March 28th, Milano posted an open letter addressed to Georgia House Speaker David Ralston and Georgia Governor Brian Kemp. In the letter, Milano threatened to refuse to film in the state if Kemp signs the bill 481 into law. More than 49 other actors co-signed her letter, including Uzo Aduba, Laverne Cox, Patton Oswalt, Amy Schumer, Sarah Silverman, Ben Stiller, Amber Tamblyn, and Gabrielle Union.
The A.V. Club notes that Insatiable, in which Milano appears, is currently filming Season 2 in Georgia. And she’s far from the only actor currently working in the state. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, in fiscal year 2018, 455 TV and film productions were shot in Georgia. The actress wrote that although she and other film professionals have enjoyed working in the Peach State, they could not “in good conscience” continue to do so if the “heartbeat” bill becomes law.
She reiterated that the bill would outlaw abortion before most women learn they are pregnant, and noted that it would likely lead to illegal, potentially unsafe, procedures. She also pointed out that the state would suffer major financial losses if many in Hollywood refuse to work there.
Georgia’s “heartbeat” bill is yet one more scary attempt to curb reproductive rights, and we’re glad that Milano and other stars with economic leverage are speaking out. If you live in Georgia and oppose this bill, contact your local representatives to let them know.