Hollywood creators urge studios to cover workers' court costs for 'abortion-related crimes'

Unsplash/Nathan DeFiesta

A coalition of some of Hollywood’s top creators is calling on studios to offer protections for crew members while working in U.S. states where most abortions are now illegal. 

The Hollywood4AbortionAccess coalition, comprised of more than 1,400 directors, producers and showrunners, sent a letter Monday to the heads of all the major studios in the hopes of mobilizing efforts to protect abortion access, according to Variety.

Comprising such A-list names as J.J. Abrams, Judd Apatow and Shonda Rimes, the group is asking for guarantees for employees in need of “reproductive health care” to be transported across state lines in the event they live in a state where abortion is illegal following the Supreme Court’s ruling in June that overturned Roe vs. Wade

Referencing concerns for “women and people who can become pregnant,” the letter asks for producers to “guarantee job security and non-retaliation if a member of a production must take time off to travel for reproductive healthcare from states where abortion is criminalized.”

The coalition also urges “guaranteed coverage for attorneys’ fees, court expenses, and fines for any employees or other production workers who are prosecuted for abortion-related crimes.”

In addition to privacy protections for those seeking abortion, the letter calls for a plan on how to implement the “appointment of a Reproductive Health Care Officer for every production in an abortion-hostile location.”

The letter asks studios to present their proposals no later than Sept. 5.

The letter follows an earlier letter sent out on Aug. 10 concerning abortion safety protocols on set to some of the industry’s biggest studios, including Netflix, Amazon, NBCUniversal, Paramount and The Walt Disney Company.

According to Variety, this latest letter thanks the respective studios for sharing the coalition’s “grave concerns arising from the overturning of Roe v. Wade” but warns that the response was not “sufficient to ensure workplace safety and prevent inevitable gender discrimination within our industry.”

After raising about $2.5 million to help their efforts, the Hollywood4AbortionAccess campaign seeks to raise an additional $2.5 million, which will go to a nonprofit called National Network of Abortion Funds.

According to its website, the National Network of Abortion Funds helps “to remove financial and logistical barriers to abortion access by centering people who have abortions and organizing at the intersections of racial, economic, and reproductive justice.”

The NNAF did not immediately respond to a request for comment by The Christian Post.

In their response to the coalition’s initial letter, the studios issued a joint statement saying that reviews were underway of their current healthcare plans in light of the Dobbs decision.

The statement read in part: “We have been independently updating our respective employees – who live and work throughout the country – as plans and policies change and expand to provide reproductive care and other support now needed in states that have restricted or outlawed abortion access.”

Hollywood has a history of supporting pro-abortion movements for decades, but a 2019 New York Times report found the entertainment industry began depicting abortions “at record levels” beyond what had been done in the past.

Since the Dobbs ruling in June, Hollywood efforts have ramped up to support pro-abortion groups such as NNAF.

When the campaign launched this week, industry names like Abrams, TV’s “Lost” and “Leftovers” producer Damon Lindelof and filmmaker Ava DuVernay took to social media to raise the additional $2.5 million on behalf of NNAF.

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