Disney, NBCUniversal Say They Will Reconsider Working in Georgia If Heartbeat Bill Passes

Disney CEO Bog Iger (REUTERS/Gary Cameron)

NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia on Thursday joined a wave of U.S. media companies, including Walt Disney Co, saying they will reconsider working in Georgia if a new law banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected takes effect.

Georgia is one of nine U.S. states that have passed strict new limits on abortion this year, moves activists on both sides of the abortion debate have said were aimed at prompting the U.S. Supreme Court to review and strike down the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy.

Comcast Corp’s NBCUniversal unit said that it expects that many of the laws will face court challenges, but added, “If any of these laws are upheld, it would strongly impact our decision making on where we produce our content in the future.”

AT&T Inc’s WarnerMedia cited similar concerns.

“If the new law holds we will reconsider Georgia as the home to any new productions,” WarnerMedia said. “As is always the case, we will work closely with our production partners and talent to determine how and where to shoot any given project.”

On Wednesday, Walt Disney Co Chief Executive Bob Iger told Reuters it would be “very difficult” to keep filming in Georgia if the new law went into effect. Netflix Inc on Tuesday said it would “rethink” its investment in Georgia if the law goes into effect.

The Georgia law, which Republican Governor Brian Kemp signed on May 7, is due to take effect on Jan. 1 if it survives court challenges. It would ban abortions at about six weeks into a pregnancy – before many women know they are pregnant.

Abortion is one of the most socially divisive issues in U.S. politics, with opponents often citing religious beliefs to call it immoral, while abortion-rights advocates say the bans amount to state control of women’s bodies.

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SOURCE: Charisma News, Kenneth Li