Stacey Abrams says Supreme Court decision Roe v. Overthrowing Wade means her race to unseat Brian Kemp as Georgia governor will determine the access women in their state have to abortion.
“This isn’t just about one choice or one person,” says Abrams diversity. “I’m running for governor. But this is about women’s ability to control their bodies and their destiny.”
As governor, Kemp signed a six-week ban on abortion, despite a court order to do so. The Republican is also facing pressure from anti-abortion advocates to introduce additional restrictions. Hollywood is deeply interested in what’s happening in Georgia because the state’s generous production incentives mean that many films and shows are now set there. That has prompted some pro-choice advocates to float the idea of pulling business out of Georgia in retaliation, a move Abrams doesn’t support.
You have received a lot of support from Hollywood during your political campaigns. How can the entertainment industry get involved?
I firmly believe that the film industry is vitally important in the state and I intend to be a governor to keep the business and entertainment industry going here in Georgia. But we must do so with a fervent belief in reproductive rights because we work in this industry. So my answer to the question of what companies should do is that every single company, every single woman, has to do what she thinks is best for her.
Companies like Netflix and Disney have announced they will pay their employees’ travel expenses to have an abortion. What do you make of it?
I believe that the business community should speak out unequivocally about reproductive rights and that the entertainment industry has an important responsibility to speak out.
I helped save the Georgian film industry* the first time because I knew that it is one of the biggest economic drivers in our state. I know that these restrictive and unjust measures are having a very real impact on those most vulnerable in our state. I don’t want us to risk losing jobs and revenue growth, but that means the same industry cannot then support the leading companies that make this possible.
Investing in anti-choice lawmakers, investing in anti-choice executives is counterproductive and dangerous for the women who work for your company. It’s dangerous for the women of Georgia. It’s dangerous for the women of America. You cannot say in one breath that you believe in reproductive choices and in the next breath support those who would take those rights away. It’s not a cultural question. This is a medical issue. This is a health care issue. This is a financial crisis for those women trapped in states they cannot get out of.
It is absolutely imperative that the entertainment community unequivocally supports women and their reproductive choices. If they can signal that by not supporting those who are just as unequivocal in their belief that they have the right to take it away.
What does this ban mean for your state and for black women and women of color in Georgia?
Brian Kemp is dangerous to Georgia women – that’s no exaggeration. Georgia has the second highest maternal mortality rate in the country. Black women in general, particularly in Georgia, are more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications and three times more likely than white women nationwide.
This law states that if you miss the narrow window of opportunity to learn about your health, there is no remedy. Brian Kemp has said he intends to make it even harder because he wants to ban access to abortion in cases of rape and incest. For women trapped in the state and trapped under this man, he is a threat to their health, he is a threat to their welfare. The law he signed into law in 2019, which will become law in the country in a matter of weeks, is a danger to Georgia women.
Some people believe the Supreme Court ruling, which contradicts public opinion, which is overwhelmingly supportive of abortion rights, signals the death of democracy. Are things that bad?
Democracy is in danger. It’s the erosion of our rights. It is the reduction of half the population to second-class citizenship.
I don’t just want to address the issue. I want to raise the solution. That is the work I have done as a private person and as a legislator. I want to make sure you protect democracy because democracy protects us. We need to talk about the immediate issues at stake, but we also need to protect the framework that allows us to anticipate the next attack on our rights and fight back.
The Midterms are fast approaching. What would you say to disaffected people who think their voice doesn’t matter?
Choosing isn’t magic. It’s medicine. The evil that Donald Trump represented did not go away with his loss. As long as there are people who share his values, who are willing to deny the rights of others, we still have work to do.
Donald Trump wasn’t a singularity, he was an example. We must root out and strike back anything and anyone who would deny our citizenship and humanity. There have been four years of Trump, but there have been more than 50 years of attacking our rights as voters and the rights of women’s bodies. These would not go away if a person lost their job. Not only must we defeat those who take away our rights, we must elect those who will defend those rights.
*Abrams publicly urged the studios not to pull any work out of the state after abortion restrictions were passed in 2019. Many have privately cited her comments as justification for remaining in Georgia.
https://variety.com/2022/politics/news/stacey-abrams-hollywood-roe-v-wade-brian-kemp-1235305504/ Stacey Abrams on Roe v. Wade, Hollywood and Votes