Actress Ashley Bratcher is firing back at Alyssa Milano for suggesting Hollywood should boycott filming in Georgia if the state’s proposed HB481 “Heartbeat Bill” becomes law, essentially banning abortions at six-weeks.
In an op-ed for Deadline, Milano, who is filming Season 2 of Insatiable in Georgia, called it “the most anti-woman bill of its kind in the country.” She wrote, “Thousands of actors and film crew members converge on Georgia every year, and we hope to continue to do so. But we require a safe working environment with respect, tolerance, and love. All artists, especially women, must feel welcome.”
Bratcher, who stars in Unplanned about Planned Parenthood director-turned-anti-abortion activist Abby Johnson, wrote an op-ed of her own for Deadline, slamming Milano’s stance.
“I’m incredibly proud of my home state for taking a stand in the fight for life amidst backlash and dubious threats,” she exclaimed. “For the latter part of a year I’ve watched as women I’ve admired, like you, spoke out in regards to women’s rights, more specifically women’s reproductive rights. … One problem, you’re forgetting about the rights of women within the womb. If feminism is all about equal rights, then where are her rights?”
The actress said she recently learned her “life was spared on an abortion table,” adding, “You had the privilege of being born in 1972. My generation was not so lucky. Over 61 million lives never reached their full potential.”
In Milano’s piece, the activist called Georgia’s film success “no accident,” writing, “The state’s leaders go out of their way with huge tax incentives that attract these projects. That’s why it baffles me that, instead of continuing to foster a pro-film environment, state leaders are going down a divisive road once again, refighting culture wars and jeopardizing one of the state’s biggest sources of revenue.”
Bratcher countered, “Well Alyssa, let me make something very clear to you. In Georgia, we care just as much about being pro-life as being pro-film. We don’t believe in putting a price tag on the value of a human life. Our brave leaders have stepped up to say enough is enough, we will no longer sit idly by as innocent lives are taken by the thousands each day.”
She continued, “You claim that the HB481 ‘Heartbill Bill’ would make Georgia the most regressive state in the country; I couldn’t disagree more. Abortion is so 1973. Welcome to 2019, a time in which medical advances preserve the life of babies born as early as 21 weeks. In case you didn’t know, that’s three weeks earlier than what most states in the U.S. consider ‘viable’ in their abortion legislation.”
Milano hailed Georgia as the “Hollywood of the South,” but Bratcher said, “it’s pretty evident that Georgia has its own identity and that it won’t be bowing down to Hollywood anytime soon. The glitz and glamour has lost its appeal and America is watching. How sad it is that tax credits are a more important topic than the sanctity of human life.”
Georgia’s state Senate passed the bill on March 22 and Governor Brian Kemp has said he vows to sign it should it cross his desk. On Thursday, Milano tweeted an open letter to Kemp asking him to reconsider. It was signed by nearly 50 actors, including Alec Baldwin, Amy Schumer, Gabrielle Union, Sean Penn, Ben Stiller, Rosie O’Donnell, Patton Oswalt and Sarah Silverman.
To @BrianKempGA & Speaker Ralston:
Attached, is an open letter signed by 50 actors against #HB481. On behalf of the undersigned–as people often called to work in GA or those of us contractually bound to work in GA–we hope you’ll reconsider signing this bill. #HBIsBadForBusiness pic.twitter.com/DsOmAWYU2x
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) March 28, 2019
The Writers Guild of America (WGA) is also threatening to boycott the entire state of Georgia.
In 2016, Georgia’s film industry threatened to leave over the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a proposed law viewed as anti-LGBTQ as it aimed to protect businesses and individuals who wished to deny services to gay couples on the basis of religious beliefs. Disney, Netflix and many actors publicly condemned it, threatening to take projects elsewhere. Ultimately, the state’s Republican governor, Nathan Deal, vetoed the legislation.
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