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People call for boycotts of Georgia, Alabama over anti-abortion bills

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With Georgia passing and Alabama on the brink of passing two of the country’s most restrictive abortion laws, activists have mounted boycotts against both states.

Last week, Georgia’s governor signed a bill into law that bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can happen as early as six weeks into pregnancy — before many women even know they are pregnant.

Meanwhile, Alabama lawmakers on Tuesday passed a bill that would punish doctors for performing abortions at any stage in the pregnancy with up to 99 years or life in prison. That bill looks poised to become law, too, since the only thing standing in its way is a signature from the state’s Republican governor, who is against abortion.

While both bills will undoubtedly be challenged in the courts before they even go into effect, abortion-rights activists are calling for boycotts against both states to make their opposition to the legislation known.

One poster circulating on social media calls for anyone driving through Alabama to stock up on gas and food before their trip so that they don’t make any purchases in the state.

Hollywood stars throw their weight behind the boycott

The effects of a boycott are likely to be felt more in Georgia, which has strong ties to Hollywood thanks to its tax breaks for film productions, giving the state the nickname “Hollywood of the South.” Last year alone 455 productions shot in Georgia, creating an economic impact of $9.5 billion, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Before the Georgia “heartbeat” bill was signed into law, actress Alyssa Milano wrote an open letter to the state’s lawmakers, threatening that she and others in Hollywood would “do everything in our power to move our industry to a safer state for women if H.B. 481 becomes law.” More than 110 actors and actresses signed Milano’s letter, including Alec Baldwin, Natalie Portman, Ben Stiller, and Amy Schumer.

Read more: 23 ways anti-abortion activists are attempting to erode Roe v. Wade without repealing it

Following the bill’s passing, Milano told BuzzFeed News that she was contractually obligated to spend the next month filming in Georgia for her Netflix show “Insatiable,” but said she would quit the show if they are renewed for a third season and production isn’t moved out of the state.

At least four production companies are now said to be boycotting filming in the state, according to NBC News.

Netflix, which Rolling Stone reports films more projects than any other company in the state, has not publicly commented on the matter. But they are represented by the Motion Picture Association of America, which released a statement saying they are monitoring the law (if it isn’t challenged, it will go into law on January 1, 2020).

“It is important to remember that similar legislation has been attempted in other states, and has either been enjoined by the courts or currently being challenged,” the statement said, according to NBC News.

Other film and television makers have decided to keep working in Georgia, but to financially support women’s rights groups.

Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams, who are shooting an HBO horror drama in the state, released a joint statement to The Hollywood Reporter last week, saying they won’t move production from Georgia but will “donate 100% of our respective episodic fees for this season to two organizations leading the charge against this draconian law: the ACLU of Georgia and Fair Fight Georgia.”

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