Pro-life organizations are calling for a boycott of Netflix after the media company announced its opposition to Georgia’s ‘heartbeat law.’
Ted Sarandos, the Chief Content Officer of Netflix, told an Atlanta news station that Netflix would rethink its business in Georgia and support attempts to strike down the legislation, which bans abortion at the time a fetal heartbeat is detected, often six weeks into pregnancy.
Sarandos said in a statement, “We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law. It’s why we will work with the ACLU and others to fight it in court. Given the legislation has not yet been implemented, we’ll continue to film there, while also supporting partners and artists who choose not to. Should it ever come into effect, we’d rethink our entire investment in Georgia.”
In response, several petitions online have gathered thousands of signatures to boycott Netflix.
In the United Kingdom, over 7,500 have signed a petition circulated by Right to Life UK encouraging people to cancel their Netflix subscriptions and a similar petition in the US has nearly 25,000 signatures.
Clare McCarthy, the spokesperson of Right to Life UK said, “I, along with many others, have cancelled my Netflix subscription today. I cannot support a company that I know is actively trying to promote abortion.”
In Georgia, pro-life advocates have taken similar stances. Carolyn Garcia said, “Georgia has pro-life values, conservative values. We don’t want Hollywood values taking control.”
Although it is not the only state in the US considering abortion restrictions, Georgia is facing particular backlash from the entertainment industry as a state where many productions are filmed due to its lucrative tax incentives.
Georgia’s bill does make exceptions in cases of incest, rape, and when the mother’s health is at stake, but it is also unique in that it grants citizenship to the fetus and the possibility of child support to the mother before birth.
Although Georgia’s law and others are likely to be challenged as a direct affront to the US Supreme Court’s 1973 landmark decision in Roe v. Wade legalizing abortion, several other US states have enacted or are pursuing similar laws in hopes of ultimately having the courts outlaw abortion in the US. Speaking about the controversial bill slated to go into effect in January 2020, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said, “I realize that some may challenge it in a court of law, but our job is to do what is right, not what is easy… we’re called to be strong and courageous. We will not back down. We will always continue to fight for life.”
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