ABC Threatens to Stop Doing Business in Georgia if New Abortion Ban Goes Into Effect

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Aug 5, 2019   |   9:55PM   |   Washington, DC

One of America’s biggest broadcasting networks may boycott the state of Georgia for trying to protect unborn babies from abortion.

Karey Burke, president of entertainment at ABC, said her company is considering whether to stop doing business in the state, Fortune reports. Disney, CBS, NBC, Netflix and other entertainment giants also have said they may boycott the state if the new heartbeat law goes into effect.

“It’s an open issue,” Burke said. “This law is being challenged right now in the courts. We will just wait to see what’s decided and make a decision.”

If upheld, the law would ban abortions after an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, about six weeks of pregnancy. It would allow exceptions for rape, incest and threats to the mother’s life. In addition, the law would allow parents to claim unborn babies as dependents on their taxes and include the unborn baby in census data. It also would allow mothers to collect child support for pregnancy and delivery costs from the father prior to the baby’s birth.

Georgia is a popular filming location for TV and movies because of its generous tax breaks. Disney recently filmed “Avengers: Endgame” and “Black Panther” there, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Since Gov. Brian Kemp signed the pro-life law in May, a growing list of actors, entertainment companies and others have said they may join the boycott. Fortune reports WarnerMedia, which owns HBO and TNT, recently said it also would “reconsider Georgia as the home to any new productions.”

One of the announcements that drew the most outrage came from Disney, a company centered around children’s entertainment. In June, CEO Robert Iger told Reuters that they probably will stop filming in Georgia if its abortion ban goes into effect.

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“I rather doubt we will [continue shooting in Georgia,]” Iger said. He said he is watching “very carefully” to see how the legal battle unfolds.

“I think many people who work for us will not want to work there and we will have to heed their wishes in that regard,” Iger said. “I don’t see how it’s practical for us to continue to shoot there.”

Netflix said it also may boycott the state for protecting unborn babies from abortions, as did “Star Wars” actor Mark Hamill.

Earlier, Gov. Kemp said the boycotts would not stop him from doing what is right.

“I understand that some folks don’t like this new law. I’m fine with that,” the Republican governor told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “We’re elected to do what’s right – and standing up for precious life is always the right thing to do. We are the party of freedom and opportunity. We value and protect innocent life — even though that makes C-list celebrities squawk.”

Some pro-lifers have renewed hope that the new conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court will uphold an abortion ban and overturn Roe v. Wade. Others, however, are hesitant because of concerns about losing the court battle and being forced to reimburse pro-abortion groups for their legal fees.

Recently, a federal judge blocked Kentucky’s new heartbeat bill. In January, a judge also declared Iowa’s heartbeat law unconstitutional. North Dakota and Arkansas passed heartbeat bills several years ago, but federal courts struck down their laws as well.

There is more hope that the U.S. Supreme Court may consider an abortion ban, but it is difficult to say if it would for certain.