Reed Ferguson
Reed Ferguson, Vice President, is a Co-Founder, partner and Contributing Senior Editor at iVoteAmerica. She currently studies economics at the University of Georgia.

When Georgia’s governor signs a bill protecting human life, Hollywood threatens the state with boycott.

“Shame! Shame! Shame!” chanted the protesters in the Georgia House gallery. Hollywood followed suit, quickly denouncing the state legislature’s actions and threatening to boycott the film industry in Georgia. Others dressed up in the red gowns and white bonnets, evoking Margaret Atwood’s 1986 dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, in which a patriarchal totalitarian regime enslaves women of childbearing age.

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s ideological shift to the right, red states across the country are rallying behind the pro-life cause in the hope of pushing a state abortion law to the Supreme Court. Joining Kentucky and Mississippi, Georgia is just the most recent state to join the movement, and Hollywood is not happy about it.

On March 29, the Georgia House passed HB 481, formally titled the Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act, by a vote of 92-78. Joining the list of the nation’s most restrictive abortion laws, Georgia’s “heartbeat bill” bans abortions after six weeks, or when a fetal heartbeat is detectable, except in the cases of rape, incest, or endangerment to the life of the mother.

In May, Gov. Brian Kemp signed the bill into law. “We stand up for the innocent and speak for those who cannot speak for themselves,” Kemp tweeted on March 29. “The legislature’s bold action reaffirms our priorities and who we are as a state.” The bill will go into effect January 2020.

Leading the Hollywood crusade against the bill is actress Alyssa Milano, who is currently filming the Netflix series Insatiable in Georgia. Standing in the state capitol, Milano said, “We will do everything in our power to move our industry to a safer state for women if HB 481 becomes law.”

In Hollywood’s power is a fraction of Georgia’s economy. Georgia’s film industry, which supports an estimated 92,000 jobs, has grown in recent years due to tax incentives and investment in studio space. Forty Hollywood celebrities, including Amy Schumer, signed a letter urging production companies to boycott Georgia.

For reasons drastically different from that of the celebrities boycotting the state, the bill has also drawn criticism from avid pro-lifers. Referencing the bill’s exceptions for abortions in the cases of rape and incest, Georgia Right to Life executive director Zemmie Fleck said, “It really just does not go far enough in the protection of innocent human life.” The pro-life group has also rescinded its endorsement of several Republican legislators who voted for the bill, accusing the lawmakers of violating an agreement made in 2018.

In response, State Rep. Sheri Gilligan, who made the agreement with Georgia Right to Life, said, “I’ve always hoped to earn their support, but when it came down to it, my conviction was that if I save one heartbeat, it’s worth it. Is it a perfect bill? No. But I’ve never seen a perfect bill, yet. And it was as good as it was going to get.”

The bill’s pro-abortion opponents argue that the bill is radical because women may not know they are pregnant at six weeks. But, of course, that argument shouldn’t intimidate a pro-lifer. It is not “moderate” to permit abortions early in a pregnancy but prohibit them later. It is simply logically inconsistent. If human life is created at conception, as is evidenced by all available science, to willfully end that life at any stage is murder. It is either a life at conception, or it is not a life until birth. All other measures are subjective.

The science is clearly and undeniably on the side of pro-life advocates. Life is created at conception; the time from conception until birth is merely the growth and development of an already-living organism — an independent human organism with independent human DNA.

From the moment of conception, a baby has its own independent genetic code. At day 22, the baby’s heart is pumping its own blood. At week six, brain waves are detectable. By week eight, every organ is in place. At week nine, it has fingernails. At 10, it can turn its head and hiccup. At weeks 11 and 12, the baby is almost fully formed. It can grasp objects in its hand. It can suck its thumb. It has a skeletal structure and nerves. At week 13, the baby’s tiny fingers have fingerprints.

The list goes on and on as the weeks pass. Current Georgia law allows abortions until 20 weeks, when a baby is fully formed and nearly capable of surviving outside the womb.

Liberal hearts bleed for mothers who want to reserve the right to kill their children but don’t for the children with beating hearts. There is no objective point other than conception to draw the line at the creation of human life. The duty of protecting that life, as well as all human lives, lies with the government.

The Guttmacher Institute noted a 63 percent increase in abortion restrictions this year alone. Georgia’s heartbeat bill is just one in a growing trend in red states to pass tight abortion restrictions, all in the hope of forcing the Supreme Court to decide whether to uphold Roe v. Wade or chip away at it.

While the pro-abortion left views this attempt as an affront to a woman’s right to choose (i.e. to choose murder), pro-lifers should continue the push, in Georgia and around the country. Threats to the Georgia economy should not intimidate Georgians when its virtue is called into question. No amount of commercial success is worth perpetuating the moral stain upon this nation that is abortion.

While avid pro-lifers are right in pointing out that Georgia’s heartbeat bill does not go far enough in protecting innocent lives, any law that can prohibit even the murder of even one innocent child is a step in the right direction. And any abortion law that can grab the attention of the Supreme Court long enough for them to review it has the potential to save millions of innocent lives in decades to come.


An earlier version of this article was originally published by The Arch Conservative.

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