Last week, Hollywood elites launched a full-fledged social media attack, threatening the state of Georgia with a boycott if the legislature passed HB 481, a “heartbeat bill,” that would essentially ban abortion after a baby’s heartbeat is detectable. Just as soon as actress Alyssa Milano spearheaded the effort, complete with a plea to Gov. Brian Kemp and some 50 signatures, the House passed the bill. Kemp is expected to sign it into law.
The Georgia Senate passed the Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act on a party-line vote earlier this month. The bill will “protect the fundamental rights of all persons, and specifically to protect the fundamental rights of particular classes of persons who had not previously been recognized under law” by making it illegal to abort a baby once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is usually around the six-week mark.
Alyssa Milano Tries to Bully Kemp
When this measure came up for a vote in the House, Milano unveiled a letter telling Kemp, a first-term Republican, her plans. These included a threat to remove entertainment industry-related work from Georgia, a hot spot for filming television and movies.
To back herself up, she listed dozens of big-name actors, names she has continued to ad to the list, pledging o boycott Georgia as well, should HB 481 pass. Many on the list are powerhouses in the industry, including folks like Mandy Moore, Don Cheadle, and Amy Schumer.
Thank you to @sethgreen, @DavidArquette @AshleyJudd @michaelaWat @kellyoxford @pamelarackguest and @jamesocromwell who have signed on to join us in opposing #HB841 in #GA. Our letter to @BrianKempGA and David Ralston with updated signers below. #HB481IsBadForBusiness pic.twitter.com/99ZpPMikbt
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) March 29, 2019
Despite Milano’s boycott, the Georgia House passed the bill. Still, that hasn’t stopped her from securing additional signatures and tweeting the boycott repeatedly, tagging Kemp in attempt to lure him—extort him, even—into vetoing the bill. Not only did Hollywood stars continue to gleefully add their names to this letter, but governors from other states treated it like a sane business move and applauded this effort.
Tomorrow, @FirstLadyNJ and I will meet 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. #HB481
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) April 1, 2019
Milano maintains the passage of the bill is “bad for business” or #HB841isbadforbusiness. Planned Parenthood quoted Milano:
.@alyssa_milano: "Women who work in Georgia’s film industry — many of them visiting from other states — need access to safe and legal reproductive care, including their constitutional right to an abortion. HB 481 takes that right away." #HB481 https://t.co/uGiavUk7wG
— Planned Parenthood Action (@PPact) March 26, 2019
Hollywood’s Boycott Was Full of Fallacies
Several states have passed heartbeat bills or are reviewing them. The governors in both Mississippi and Kentucky recently signed fetal heartbeat measures into law. Florida, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas are all reviewing heartbeat bills and expected to pass them. Of course, some states have passed them—Kentucky, Iowa, and North Dakota—and been blocked in the courts. This is normal and expected, but for many advocates, it does not lessen the point or the principle of the bill.
Heartbeat bills acknowledge the personhood of babies in the womb (heartbeat detection is one of the most common ways to confirm pregnancy) while also limiting abortions, since they’re banned once the baby’s heartbeat is detected, which is around six weeks following conception. The also could kick a case up to the Supreme Court, where they will finally have to address the issue after many years of avoidance.
One of the biggest reasons Milano’s boycott efforts are completely out of bounds is that she doesn’t reside or pay taxes in Georgia—she lives on a hobby farm in California. Thus Milano and company are attempting to directly undermine the constituents who voted Georgia’s legislature into office, and who have a legal and natural right to have their political views represented and made into law. They’re essentially attempting economic sanctions on fellow Americans. Or, to use another word, blackmail.
This is a technique the left has been amplifying for some years now. Its watershed moment was in Indiana in 2015, when then-governor Mike Pence and the legislature capitulated to out-of-state mobs and big business in his state to erase potential religious freedom protections and replace them with LGBT legal preferences that his own constituents opposed. Similar tactics worked in North Carolina and many other states soon after.
Milano’s Concerns are Unfounded
Milano is correct that Hollywood brings business to Georgia. The Motion Picture Association of America stats from 2016 show: “In Georgia, the film and television industry directly employs 25,700 people and pays more than $1.7 billion in wages. There are over 2,700 motion picture and television industry businesses in Georgia, including 1,822 production-related companies.” So Hollywood brings some work to Georgia. Why does it matter if Georgia essentially bans abortions?
Milano claims women working in the film industry there might want abortion access. Statistics vary, but women don’t exactly dominate the Hollywood industry. They make up about one-third (on camera and off) of it. How many of those are of childbearing age? How many of those are likely to get pregnant? How many of those will want an abortion? Right there while working in Georgia?
Let’s say a film production set hires a local wardrobe or dry cleaning company, made up of mostly women, to handle costumes on a set. They’re already living and working in Georgia, so many of them have probably already weighed in on this issue by voting and ringing up their their elected representatives. That’s their constitutional and natural right. Hollywood shouldn’t try to take it away.
The only strong argument that remains is that Milano and company don’t agree that babies are people with legal rights. That’s the most honest answer. Yet instead of just saying that, Milano is attempting to snooker the state of Georgia and its governor into believing that hypothetical economic gains ought to be more important than reducing mass murder.