UPDATE 3:44 p.m. ET: The Georgia House of Representatives on Friday voted 92 to 78 to approve the "heartbeat" abortion bill, WXIA-TV reported, and it now awaits Republican Gov. Brian Kemp's signature before becoming law. He has said he would sign it.
Original story below
Left-wing celebrities Alyssa Milano, Alec Baldwin, Amy Schumer, and more than 40 other Hollywood luminaries signed a letter threatening to push TV and film production out of Georgia if the state's contentious "heartbeat" abortion bill becomes law, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
The open letter was addressed to Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp and Republican Speaker of the state House of Representatives David Ralston, the paper said.
Other celebrity signees included Rosie O'Donnell, Sarah Silverman, Sean Penn, Patton Oswalt, Gabrielle Union, Don Cheadle, Mia Farrow, Essence Atkins, Uzo Aduba, Christina Applegate, Ben Stiller, Colin Hanks, Bradley Whitford, and Amber Tamblyn, the Journal-Constitution said.
What does the bill say?
Georgia H.B. 481 would prohibit most abortions as early as six weeks from conception — the point at which most fetal heartbeats can be detected. It passed the state House earlier this month, and it's back in the House following the passage of the state Senate's version, the Journal-Constitution said in a separate story. Kemp has indicated he will sign it.
Presently abortions in Georgia are allowed up to 20 weeks.
What else did celebrities against the bill have to say?
After the bill passed the state Senate last Friday, Milano tweeted to "Hollywood" that "we should stop feeding GA economy." Milano — who spearheaded the letter — is in Atlanta shooting the Netflix comedy "Insatiable," the paper added.
The actress trumpeted the letter on Thursday:
To @BrianKempGA & Speaker Ralston: Attached, is an open letter signed by 50 actors against #HB481. On behalf of the… https://t.co/2rQ2aKkWqs— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa Milano) 1553773133.0
The celebrities' letter to Kemp and Ralston says Hollywood production companies have provided Georgia billions in economic activity over the last decade after the state passed production tax credits, the Journal-Constitution said.
"But we cannot in good conscience continue to recommend our industry remain in Georgia if H.B. 481 becomes law," the letter added, according to the paper.
"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," the letter also says, according to the Journal-Constitution. "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."
The letter concludes in this way, the paper said:
We want to stay in Georgia. We want to continue to support the wonderful people, businesses, and communities we have come to love in the Peachtree State. But we will not do so silently, and we will do everything in our power to move our industry to a safer state for women if H.B. 481 becomes law.
You have a choice, gentlemen. We pray you make the right one.
The Writers Guild of America East and Writers Guild of America West signed a joint letter saying they "condemn" the bill, WXIA-TV reported.
More from the letter, according to the station:
HB 481 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.
This law would make Georgia an inhospitable place for those in the film and television industry to work, including our members. 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.
In addition, Georgia Democratic state Rep. Dar'shun Kendrick earlier this month proposed a
"Testicular Bill of Rights" in opposition to the "heartbeat" abortion bill.
This story has been updated to reflect the Georgia House vote Friday passing the "heartbeat" abortion bill.