On Monday, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed HB 481, an insanely extreme bill that criminalizes abortion after the fetus has a detectable heartbeat.
It would subject women who get an abortion as early as six weeks into their pregnancy to life imprisonment or the death penalty. This is because the bill grants full legal personhood to fetuses. Thus, making abortion murder.
Also, if a woman miscarries because she did drugs while pregnant, she could be punished by up to 30 years in prison. There’s no escape. Additionally, women who leave the state of Georgia to pursue a legal abortion could be charged with conspiracy to commit murder.
Alone the conspiracy charge carries a sentence of 10 years. Plus, a person who helps a woman plan this out-of-state trip could also be charged with conspiracy.
— Greg Bluestein (@bluestein) May 12, 2019
The ACLU of Georgia has already announced that it will challenge the bill, which is to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020. Still, this bill seems like it’s destined to land in the hands of a Supreme Court judge.
Anti-abortion activists were empowered by the recent appointment of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and the presence of Trump appointee Neil Gorsuch. It is possible we could see this extremely conservative court dismantle Roe v. Wade, which would allow states like Georgia to outlaw abortion.
Let’s get this straight — criminalizing abortion does not prevent abortion. According to the Guttmacher Institute, the abortion rates are about the same in countries where abortion is legal and where it is not.
Rather, the criminalization of abortion forces women to go to sketchy doctors or to pursue other unsafe methods to terminate their pregnancies. The Los Angeles Times reported,
“The only thing criminalizing abortion does is increase the number of women who either die or go to jail.”
Many Hollywood movies and TV shows, such as Stranger Things, Ozark, Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man and The Walking Dead film in Georgia, due to the state’s significant tax breaks.
In reaction, many in Hollywood have threatened to pull their productions from the state.
At least five production companies announced their course of action. Until the GA government or Supreme Court overturns the law, Killer Films (Vox Lux, First Reformed, Carol); Blown Deadline Productions (The Wire, The Deuce); Colorforce (Crazy Rich Asians); Duplass Brothers Productions; and CounterNarrative films (Triple Frontier) will not be shooting in GA.
CEO of Killer Flims Christine Vachon tweeted last Tuesday:
Killer Films will no longer consider Georgia as a viable shooting location until this ridiculous law is overturned.
— Christine Vachon (@kvpi) May 9, 2019
But the Motion Pictures Association of America merely said it will “monitor developments” in the state. Disney has been silent on the matter.
Another response came from Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams. Both directors were to shoot Lovecraft Country in the next few weeks. In a joint statement, they announced that they will go forward with the shoot, but will be donating show proceeds to the ACLU of Georgia and Fair Fight Georgia fight the bill.
Abrams told the Hollywood Reporter,
“We stand with Stacey Abrams and the hardworking people of Georgia, and will donate 100 percent of our respective episodic fees for this season to two organizations leading the charge against this draconian law: the ACLU of Georgia and Fair Fight Georgia… We encourage those who are able to funnel any and all resources to these organizations.”
It’s time to fight this insane bill and to stop punishing women.