'Roe' Round-Up: The Good, The Bad, And The Freaking *Horrifying*
Once again, there is way, way too much abortion-related news for me to write all of it up in individual posts. So you're getting another round-up! Isn't that fun? OK, fine, maybe not fun so much as incredibly horrifying and depressing, but I did manage to find some GOOD news to mix in with the bad, because we all need some good to keep our spirits up as we prepare to fight.
I'd say "enjoy" but... well, you know.
Disney Just Not So Sure It Can Be A Part Of Georgia's Film World
In an interview on Wednesday, Disney CEO Bob Iger suggested that if Georgia is successful in pushing through its draconian abortion law, the company will have no choice but to stop filming there. The state may offer attractive tax credits, but those really are not worth much if you can't find any actors willing to go there.
"I rather doubt we will," Iger said in an interview ahead of the dedication for a new "Star Wars" section at Disneyland. "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. Right now we are watching it very carefully."
If the law takes effect, "I don't see how it's practical for us to continue to shoot there," he added.
You know who else won't be filming anything in Georgia? Netflix! On Tuesday, chief content officer Ted Sarandos said that the streaming service, which has filmed several of its own original series and movies in Georgia, would also no longer be able to continue working with the state if the abortion law goes through:
"We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law," Sarandos said in a statement on Tuesday. "It's why we will work with the ACLU and others to fight it in court. Given the legislation has not yet been implemented, we'll continue to film there—while also supporting partners and artists who choose not to. Should it ever come into effect, we'd rethink our entire investment in Georgia."
Said boycott is supported by the glorious Titus Burgess, Georgia native and star of Netflix's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Burgess told TMZ that he hopes the threat of a boycott will put economic pressure on the state and help them to reconsider the wisdom of letting a "bunch of old white men" control women's bodies. Semi-relatedly, since that show has wrapped up, I am going to need someone to cast him in his own show immediately because he is the only person I truly love in the whole world and I cannot bear the thought of not having him on my television screen any longer.
Comedian Ilana Glazer has also announced that she would no longer be shooting an upcoming feature in Georgia. Actors such as Jason Bateman, Ben Stiller, Alec Baldwin, Sean Penn, Mia Farrow, Alyssa Milano and Christina Applegate have all vowed to refuse to film anything in the state as well. David Simon, producer of The Wire, has also said he does not want anything to do with the state if the law goes into effect.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has so far blown off the boycotts and tried to pretend like it's only "C-list celebrities" who will be refusing to film there.
"I understand that some folks don't like this new law. I'm fine with that," Kemp said Saturday. "We're elected to do what's right — and standing up for precious life is always the right thing to do."[...]
The Republican Party is the "party of freedom and opportunity. We value and protect innocent life — even though that makes C-list celebrities squawk," Kemp added.
You keep telling yourself that, dude.
There are two very good reasons for why these boycotts are necessary. The first, obviously, is because it is straight up wrong to ask people who can get pregnant to go to these states and put themselves in danger. The second is because, for the thousandth time, BOYCOTTS ARE THE ONLY THING THAT EVER WORKS.
A lot of people, fairly, have pointed out that these boycotts will hurt people who have nothing to do with the ban, and even many of those who oppose it. They have suggested instead donating money to organizations challenging it in court like the ACLU or to voter turnout efforts. That is very nice and all, but it doesn't goddamn work. It is not effective. Boycotts are effective. They were effective in getting Florida Orange Juice to fire Anita Bryant, they were effective in getting Georgia to drop a law allowing adoption agencies to discriminate against gay people, and they will be effective now. Nothing else will. I'm sorry, but it's true.
There's Only One Abortion Clinic Left In Missouri, And It Could Get Shut Down Tomorrow
Last week, Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed HB 126, the so-called "Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act" into law. The law criminalizes all abortions after eight weeks, with no exceptions for rape or incest.
That law won't go into effect until August, but even if it is successfully challenged in court, getting an abortion in the state may well soon be impossible anyway ... because the last remaining abortion clinic might lose its license tomorrow.
Gov. Parson, because he thinks we are all stupid, is claiming that his desire to shut this clinic down has absolutely nothing to do with his desire to ban abortions in the state. These are just two, separate, totally unrelated things!
"This is not about the pro-life issue at all," Parson said. "This is about the standard of care for women in Missouri, whether it's this clinic, any other clinic and any other hospital that should have to meet the same standards."
Oh, for sure. Who wouldn't buy that? It's so believable!
Planned Parenthood, which is filing suit against the state, says that the clinic has been working to comply with the Department of Health's requests and address any other issues that have come up, but that some of their requests are simply not possible.
A Department of Health news release Wednesday afternoon appeared to confirm some of that, saying that Planned Parenthood had agreed to change practices to comply with regulations concerning pelvic exams and informed consent for the procedure.
But the parties are at a stalemate over the department's demand to interview several physicians, including medical residents and trainees, who are not Planned Parenthood employees.
In the lawsuit, Planned Parenthood attorneys say the organization has no power to compel non-employees to do anything and the department has no right to make the interviews a condition of renewing its license.
There is absolutely no question that this has nothing to do with any "standard of care" and everything to do with Gov. Parson wanting a backdoor way of banning abortion in the state should the new law not work out as planned. Besides, if he gave a flying crap about "women's health," he'd be less concerned about the state's one abortion clinic and more concerned about the state's maternal mortality rate being well above the national average.
Oh Hey, Looks Like Democrats Can Sign Terrible Abortion Bans Into Law Too!
John Bel Edwards is the governor of Louisiana. He is also a Democrat. He is also planning to sign a gross ass abortion ban into law this week, and can go fuck himself.
The Louisiana law, passed by the state's House this week, bans abortions after six weeks and includes no exceptions for rape and incest. Nice!
When announcing that he would sign the bill, Bel Edwards said:
"As I prepare to sign this bill, I call on the overwhelming bipartisan majority of legislators who voted for it to join me in continuing to build a better Louisiana that cares for the least among us and provides more opportunity for everyone."
Well that certainly seems like something that is not going to happen. First of all, there is no damn way that the Republicans who voted for this bill would ever do fuck all to help poor people, and second, this is a law that is going to limit opportunity for everyone. Or, at least, for those who are going to be forced to give birth against their will. Also, the state will almost definitely be doing jack shit to take care of all those unwanted babies once they're born.
Gov. Bel Edwards will be up for re-election in 2019, and given that he's basically a Republican anyway*, it seems like a primary challenge ought to be in order here. It also seems like he should not be getting any outside money to run his campaign. Let the GOP pay for his shit, I say.
*Editrix here. He really isn't, but you for sure don't have to send him money.
Nice Time! Illinois House Votes To PROTECT Abortion Rights! Yay!
While many states are going around passing terrible forced birth laws, others are working to ensure that abortion rights will be protected even if Roe is overturned. States like Illinois, where I live! Phew!
On Tuesday, the Illinois House voted to repeal the grotesque Illinois Abortion Law of 1975 and the state's "partial birth abortion ban," which is great considering that there is no such thing as a "partial birth abortion."
Via Chicago Tribune:
The bill would repeal the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975 and its provisions that called for spousal consent, waiting periods, criminal penalties for physicians who perform abortions and other restrictions on facilities where abortions are performed. The bill would establish "the fundamental right" of a pregnant woman to have an abortion and states that "a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights."
"Today, Illinois says we are better than this war on women," Chicago Democrat Rep. Kelly Cassidy said just before the 65-40 vote. "Illinois says we trust women. Please join me in saying that loud and clear: 'We trust women.'"
The bill is now set to go to the Senate, where it should have no trouble passing. Gov. J.B. Pritzker has said he will sign it.
Do I like knowing that abortion will remain safe in the state I live in? I SURE DO! But as much as a personal relief as this is, it is hard to get too excited about it given that so many other people will be losing their reproductive rights if the laws in their states go through and Roe is overturned. If there were some feasible way of moving everyone with a uterus to Illinois and other states that are going to protect the right to choose, that would be one thing, but it's really not. So even though this is good news for those of us who live in Illinois or other states that will protect our rights, we still need to keep fighting for those who don't.
And that's it! For now, anyway.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse