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Actors threaten to boycott Georgia over pro-life bill

Alec Baldwin (Getty)

Alec Baldwin, Rosie O’Donnell, and Sean Penn were among signatories who called the heartbeat bill 'evil'

Almost fifty celebrities have signed an open letter threatening to boycott the American state of Georgia should its Governor sign a bill making abortion illegal when a foetal heartbeat has been detected.

The law, HB 481, is known as the Living Infants Fairness and Equality Act and was passed in the state senate recently. The vote was entirely partisan, with all Republicans voting aye and all Democrats no. Governor Brian Kemp (R) has indicated that he will sign the bill into law once it passes the House of Representatives, which passed an earlier version.

Signatories to the letter include Alec Baldwin, Alyssa Milano, Rosie O’Donnell, Don Cheadle and Sean Penn. They state they would do “everything in our power to move our industry to a safer state for women” were this “dangerous and deeply-flawed bill” to become law. The letter continues, “We can’t imagine being elected officials who had to say to their constituents ‘I enacted a law that was so evil, it chased billions of dollars out of our state’s economy.’”

Georgia has since 2016 been the favoured state of filmmakers, displacing California. It offers significant tax incentives to production companies operating there. A previous bill, HB 757, elicited a similar threat to boycott the state. The bill’s purpose was to ensure religious officials would not be forced to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies. The then-governor, Nathan Deal, vetoed HB 757 in response to the threat.

There is little chance that HB 481 would ever take effect even were it signed into law. Since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, restricting access to abortion prior to the viability of the unborn child has been illegal. Other states, having passed similar legislation, have had to repeal the laws after their being declared unconstitutional.