Gabrielle Union, Don Cheadle, and more protest against “anti-abortion” bill

Actors threaten to take their Hollywood dollars out of the state's thriving film and TV industry if bill becomes law

Gabrielle Union, Don Cheadle and Uzo Aduba
Gabrielle Union (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images), Don Cheadle (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images), and Uzo Aduba (Photo by Rachel Luna/Getty Images)

Black Hollywood elite, including Gabrielle Union, Don Cheadle, Uzo Aduba and more are protesting against Georgia’s recently passed H.B. 481 bill, also known as the Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act, which bans the performance of abortions six weeks post conception.

On Friday, Georgia’s House of Representatives approved the LIFE Act, which would effectively ban abortions once a fetus’ heartbeat is detected. For most women, this is as early as the six-week mark of their pregnancy, and only a couple weeks after most women even suspect pregnancy, following their first missed menstrual cycle. If passed, this legislation would be one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the U.S., and make the majority of abortions “unlawful.”

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Rep. Gov. Brian Kemp released an official statement after the bill passed the House on Friday, showing his full support. He also tweeted his support of the LIFE act:

“Georgia values life. We stand up for the innocent and speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. The legislature’s bold action reaffirms our priorities and who we are as a state. I thank these lawmakers for their leadership and applaud their undeniable courage. #gapol”

According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the complete list of stars against the anti-abortion act also includes the likes of Essence Atkins, Rosie O’Donnell, Sean Penn, Mia Farrow, Sarah Silverman, Christina Applegate, Alec Baldwin, Ben Stiller and many more.

Together, the stars wrote a letter addressed to Kemp and Georgia House Speaker David Ralston threatening to take their Hollywood dollars out of Georgia’s thriving film and TV industry if the abortion bill is signed into law. The Writers Guild of America also joined the stars in a show of support against the bill.

“This dangerous and deeply-flawed bill mimics many others which have already been deemed unconstitutional. As men who identify as small-government conservatives, we remind you that government is never bigger than when it is inside a woman’s body or in her doctor’s office,” they letter stated. In went on to say, “This bill would remove the possibility of women receiving reproductive healthcare before most even know they are pregnant and force many women to undergo unregulated, hidden procedures at great risk to their health.”

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According to the The Atlanta Journal Constitution, opponents in the medical community also argue that developing tissue of a fetus at six weeks may be mistaken as a heartbeat, making the fetus unable to survive outside of the mother’s womb, and making the terms of the bill further faulty and controversial.

As it stands, Georgia’s current abortion laws bans pregnancy termination at 20 weeks. While the new bill would cut the window of abortion down but over a third, there are some exceptions. A woman may terminate her pregnancy in cases of a medical emergency, rape, or incest. However, she would have to provide police or proper medical documentation to move forward in the procedure.

Those against the Georgia abortion restriction still have some time to protest against the bill’s effectiveness. Even if Gov. Kemp signs the bill, the law wouldn’t go into effect until Jan. 1, 2020.