Nearly 50 Hollywood Actors Threaten To Boycott If ‘Heartbeat’ Abortion Bill
“Thank You!!!! We Appreciate You Georgia”
Georgia lawmakers Friday turned aside threats from Hollywood celebrities and gave final legislative approval to a bill that would ban most abortions in the state.
One day after the Writers Guild of America threatened that Georgia would pay a steep fiscal price if the anti-abortion “heartbeat” bill wins final approval, a coalition of Hollywood celebrities joined with Alyssa Milano to warn that they, too, will push for the entertainment industry to flee the state if, as is likely, the bill becomes law.
A letter to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp has been signed by nearly 50 stars including Alec Baldwin, Amy Schumer, Gabrielle Union, Rosie O’Donnell, Patton Oswalt, Sarah Silverman, Essence Atkins, Uzo Aduba, Christina Applegate, Ben Stiller, Sean Penn, David Cross, Don Cheadle, Mia Farrow, Colin Hanks, Bradley Whitford and Amber Tamblyn, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
However, if the letter’s goal was to short-circuit the bill, that strategy failed.
On Friday, the Georgia House gave the bill final legislative passage by a 92-78 vote, one vote more than the bare minimum needed to pass.
Last week, Georgia’s Senate approved the law banning most abortions after six weeks from conception, the time at which a baby’s heart starts to beat. Kemp has indicated he would sign the bill if it cleared the legislature.
But the law has run afoul of what the celebrities will support.
“This dangerous and deeply-flawed bill mimics many others which have already been deemed unconstitutional,” the letter from the Hollywood celebrities read. “As men who identify as small-government conservatives, we remind you that government is never bigger than when it is inside a woman’s body or in her doctor’s office.
“This bill would remove the possibility of women receiving reproductive healthcare before most even know they are pregnant and force many women to undergo unregulated, hidden procedures at great risk to their health.”
The letter closed with a clear threat.
“We want to stay in Georgia,” it said. “We want to continue to support the wonderful people, businesses, and communities we have come to love in the Peachtree State. But we will not do so silently, and we will do everything in our power to move our industry to a safer state for women if H.B. 481 becomes law. You have a choice, gentlemen. We pray you make the right one.”
Many on Twitter suggested the actors leave Georgia’s policymaking to Georgians.
Hey @Alyssa_Milano Mother to mother, actress to actress, and as a proud Georgian, I’ve got some things to say to you. I’m incredibly proud of my home state and @GovKemp for taking a stand in the fight for life amidst backlash and dubious threats. https://t.co/dpwDFn6O70
— Ashley Bratcher (@_AshleyBratcher) March 28, 2019
Georgia is supposed to bow down to Hollywood extortionists? https://t.co/ebLpbWMvbG
— Wayne Dupree | 🎤 (@WayneDupreeShow) March 29, 2019
Hahahaha …maybe staying out of Georgia would the best thing for Georgia.. this is so ridiculous, Entertainers in their Hollywood BUBBLE thinking they truly could make an impact, an sway the working class majority with their diluted fantasies.. Stick to ENTERTAINMENT! Stupid 👎
— chris (@crbillie) March 29, 2019
Killing babies is bad for all business, ma’am. We have no interest here in Georgia of taking our 30 pieces of silver in exchange for what Hollywood is peddling, much more interested in standing up for Truth and Life 🙂
— Tom Kuipers (@TomKuipers) March 22, 2019
Republican State Rep. Trey Kelley was not intimidated.
“I think it’s sad that some will try to use the movie industry to stop good legislation in Georgia. But with any proposal I do — and I know many members of (the Republican) caucus — weigh the merits of the legislation, they don’t pay attention to what special-interest groups have to say about it,” he said, according to The Journal-Constitution.
State Rep. Ed Setzler, who sponsored the bill in the House, said the bill represented what “commonsense Georgians” were about.
“This bill recognizes the fundamental life of the child in the womb is worthy of legal protection and balances that basic right to life with the very different situations women find themselves in pregnancies,” he said.
But many Democrats were siding with Hollywood, including Stacey Abrams, who lost the governor’s race to Kemp last year.
The film industry is now integral to our economy. Ask the carpenters, hairdressers, caterers, electricians & artists from Senoia to Savannah who rely on these jobs to feed their families. For them, for us, Georgia isn’t Hollywood – it’s home. #gapol #HB481IsBadForBusiness
— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) March 29, 2019
Mississippi recently passed a similar bill. “Heartbeat” legislation also has been proposed in Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina and Ohio.
Children found locked in dog cage, living
in deplorable conditions, Wise County
RHOME, TX – A father and mother of four children are facing charges after deputies discovered a horrific scene of child abuse and neglect at a home Tuesday morning.
According to Wise County deputies, they received a call at about 7:20 a.m. on a report of domestic violence at a house off County Road 4930 near Newark, about 30 miles north of Fort Worth.
Andrew Fabila and Paige Harkings face four charges of child endangerment, authorities said.
When deputies arrived at the home, they found cuts to the Fabila’s face and heard children inside a barn, according to Sheriff Lane Akin, with the Wise County Sheriff’s Department.
Four children were found inside the barn: a 4-year-old girl and three boys, ages 5, 3 and 1, Akin said.
The oldest two children were locked in a dog kennel measuring about 3 feet by 3 feet by 3 feet, he said. The other two were found mostly unclothed on the floor of the barn, covered in urine and feces, Akin said.
Akin said it was the worst child-abuse case he’d seen during his 44 years in law enforcement.
“I’ve not worked one where children are locked inside a dog kennel, and I find that absolutely disgusting,” he said.
Inside the barn, the space was “crudely fashioned” into rooms to create some sort of living quarters, Akin said.
“There was plenty of food inside the barn, but the refrigerator and the cabinets had been locked so the kids could not get in to get food,” the sheriff said.
The children were hungry and thirsty when deputies found them, so authorities gave them food and water before they were taken to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth. Akin said he saw no obvious injuries to the children before they were hospitalized.
The children were released from the hospital Tuesday evening and will be placed in foster care, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services said.
Deputies noticed feces scattered throughout the house.
Fabila was sent to the hospital with cuts. Harkins also faces a family violence charge.
The couple had been staying with the paternal grandparents’ house. Texas Child Protective Services confirmed that they had previous contact with the family, but would not elaborate.
AG Paxton Launches New Dose of Reality
Website to Educate Texans About the
Dangers of Opioid Abuse
AUSTIN, TX – In his office’s latest initiative to combat the nation’s opioid crisis, Attorney General Ken Paxton today launched Dose of Reality, a new comprehensive website to inform and educate Texans about the dangers of misusing prescription painkillers.
Attorney General Paxton was joined at a press conference by Department of State Health Services Commissioner Dr. John Hellerstedt and Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Courtney N. Phillips.
“The misuse and abuse of prescription opioids cost lives and devastate Texas families in every region of our state,” Attorney General Paxton said. “Opioids such as OxyContin and hydrocodone are prescribed by doctors to treat moderate to severe pain, but have serious risks and side effects. When patients are not well informed, these drugs can inflict far more pain than they prevent. The Dose of Reality website is intended to give Texans the information they need to avoid those unintended consequences. My office will continue to do everything it can to protect Texans from the opioid crisis.”
Dose of Reality provides individuals, patients, health care providers, teachers, coaches and others with opioid-related resources in one location, allowing for quick and easy access to vital information.
The new website includes details on approaches to preventing opioid abuse and addiction, proper pain management, safe storage of prescription painkillers and guidelines on responding to an opioid overdose. It also features a statewide take back map of locations that accept prescription opioids for safe disposal.
Opioids are a family of drugs that include prescription painkillers such as OxyContin as well as illegal drugs like heroin.
Each day, 115 Americans die of opioid overdoses.
Nationwide, there were 42,249 opioid overdoses in 2016, including 1,375 opioid-related deaths in Texas.
The death toll attributed to opioids in the U.S. has quadrupled over the last two decades.
In 2017, Attorney General Paxton and a bipartisan group of 40 other state attorneys general initiated an investigation into whether companies that manufacture and distribute prescription opioids engaged in unlawful practices. Last May, Attorney General Paxton filed a major consumer protection lawsuit against Purdue Pharma for violating the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act involving the company’s prescription opioids, including OxyContin.
The nationally acclaimed and award-winning Dose of Reality website was conceived by the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ), in September 2015 provided to Texas, Arkansas, Georgia, Maine, Minnesota and Nebraska at no cost. Attorney General Paxton’s office partnered with the Wisconsin DOJ, Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the Texas Department of State Health Services on content development for DoseofReality.Texas.gov
Colorado Child Abuse, Neglect hotline
sees record number of calls in 2018
DENVER, CO – Concerned Coloradans called the state’s Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline almost 222,000 times in 2018, according to a new report from the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS).
December marked the end of the fourth year of the public awareness campaign, which is put on by the CDHS.
The 24/7 hotline — 1-844-CO-4-KIDS or 1-844-264-5437 — received a record of 221,969 calls in 2018, which is a 10,500 increase from 2017.
Thanks to the people who made the calls, social services agencies investigated the safety of more than 57,042 children in 2018. Of those children, 13,289 were experiencing abuse or neglect, according to CDHS.
In addition, 12,787 families received voluntary support from social services to help prevent abuse or neglect in the future.
Minna Castillo-Cohen, director of the Office of Children, Youth and Families at CDHS, said the growth in the number of calls is encouraging because it means more people understand their role in preventing abuse and neglect.
“Sadly, children in Colorado continue to experience abuse, and reporting can’t be the only way Colorado is working to help build communities that strengthen families and prevent child abuse,” she said.
Out-of-town placements for these children are sometimes necessary to protect them, but most children and teens who receive help through child welfare services are not removed from their homes.
Calls to the hotline are routed to the appropriate county, which are responsible for responding to the reports. As of Monday, 38 counties rely entirely on the hotline to screen their calls, according to CDHS.
“The fact that more than half of Colorado’s counties now believe strongly enough in the Hotline County Connection Center to trust them to screen all of their child abuse, neglect and child sex trafficking inquiries and reports represents a wonderful vote of confidence in our system,” Castillo-Cohen said. “Many of these counties are smaller in population and therefore have fewer staff members to cover large territories. Using the County Connection Center’s call screening process, resources and personnel are freed up to be boots on the ground in these counties, connecting directly with and supporting families in crisis.”
To learn more, visit www.co4kids.org . Call the hotline at 1-844-264-5437 if you suspect a case of child abuse or neglect. If a child is in immediate danger, call 911.