A proposed anti-abortion law in Georgia could send the state’s booming film and TV industry there packing up and fleeing elsewhere, the WGA said in a statement today. The state’s Senate has approved a bill that would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. But to become law, it must still be approved by the Georgia House of Representatives and signed by Gov. Brian Kemp.
“This law would make Georgia an inhospitable place for those in the film and television industry to work, including our members,” the WGA East and West said in a joint statement. “If the Georgia Legislature and Governor Kemp make HB 481 law, it is entirely possible that many of those in our industry will either want to leave the state or decide not to bring productions there. Such is the potential cost of a blatant attack on every woman’s right to control her own body.
“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.”
According to the MPAA, the film and TV industry is responsible for more than 92,100 jobs and nearly $4.6 billion in total wages in Georgia, including indirect jobs and wages. According to the governor’s office, film and TV production generated $2.7 billion in direct spending in the state during the fiscal year ended June 30.
Stacey Abrams, who ran for Georgia governor last year, tweeted this today:
The proposed law, the WGA said, “is a draconian anti-choice measure that would in essence constitute a state-wide ban on abortion since a fetal heartbeat is usually detectable approximately six weeks into a pregnancy, before many women are aware they are pregnant or have had reasonable time to consider their options.”
“The WGA East and West condemn the passage of HB 481 in the Georgia State Legislature,” the guilds said. “We urge Speaker (David) Ralston and the Georgia House of Representatives not to approve the recently passed Senate version. If they do, we urge Governor Kemp to veto the bill.
“Governor Kemp, Speaker Ralston and the Georgia House of Representatives have it within their power to avert what is both an affront to women and potential economic harm to their constituents. They should prevent HB 481 from becoming law, not only to protect the vibrant film and television industry in their state, but because it is the right thing to do.”
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