In light of the recent wave of state-by-state attempts to block women’s access to safe and legal abortions, many high-profile women have been speaking out about their own experiences with abortion in order to draw awareness to the critical issue—and to serve as calls to action. Jameela Jamil spoke out in May about the pregnancy she terminated, and Ashley Judd also recently spoke about her own experiences securing an abortion in Georgia after she was raped. After the state’s extreme abortion ban passed in May, celebrities and studios have also been threatening to boycott working in Georgia, which would hit the state where it hurts: The film industry had a total economic impact of $9.5 billion there during the 2018 fiscal year, according to the state. Now, Tiffany Haddish has escalated the conversation by postponing her Atlanta show in protest over the abortion ban.
“After much deliberation, I am postponing my upcoming show in Atlanta. I love the state of Georgia, but I need to stand with women, and until they withdraw Measure HB481, I cannot in good faith perform there,” Haddish said in a statement on Saturday, according to CNN—making her the first celebrity to effectively cancel a performance over the ban. As Jezebel points out, it’s unlikely that Georgia will voluntarily strike down the law before it takes effect. (Ticket-holders will be refunded by the theater.)
Georgia’s law, set to take effect Jan. 1, 2020, will ban abortions after six weeks (before many women realize they’re pregnant) and criminalize them as well. Residents there won’t even be allowed to travel out of state to receive a legal abortion, or they could be charged with conspiracy to commit murder. The law only makes exceptions in cases of incest, medical danger to the pregnant person, and rape—though, for the latter, that’s only if there’s a police report filed.
So far, it seems like many are waiting to follow through until the law actually takes effect—it could be struck down by courts before Jan. 1. Among them, Netflix: “We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law,” the company’s chief content officer said in a May statement to Glamour. “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.”
Now that Haddish has postponed her performance, it remains to be seen if other celebrities, studios, and companies follow her lead.