A California state legislator has introduced a bill that would give filmmakers an additional tax credit if they relocate their productions to California from states with abortion restrictions.
The bill targets states like Alabama and Georgia that recently passed laws either restricting or outlawing abortion, says bill sponsor Luz Rivas, a Democratic assemblywoman.
“My bill provides the film industry a relocation incentive during a time of national uproar that has ensued from these shameful actions of restricting access to abortion services, and the call to action from several Hollywood stars and studios to instead avoid film production in states that do not respect women or their rights,” Rivas said.
“California is both a leader in women’s rights and the film industry. We hope those who are filming in these regressive states will come to California and share our values.”
The tax credit would apply only to production companies that first try to locate to a state with pending or existing abortion restrictions. It would not – for example – apply to a production company that moves from a pro-choice state such as New York.
The bill’s text says the credit will be given to production companies that “relocated to California from a state that has pending legislation or existing law that prohibits access to, criminalizes the provision of, or otherwise restricts a woman’s access to abortion services after six weeks from the beginning of the pregnancy or earlier.”
It also applies to film companies that “chose to pay or incur qualified expenditures in California rather than in a state that has pending legislation or existing law that prohibits access to, criminalizes the provision of, or otherwise restricts a woman’s access to abortion services after six weeks from the beginning of the pregnancy or earlier.”
Tony Perkins, president of the pro-life Family Research Council, says the bill may have little success. That’s because, he says, California has too many regulations compared to a film-friendly state like Georgia.
The Hollywood Reporter quoted filmmakers Ron Howard and Brian Grazer as saying they’ll donate to the ACLU as a way of protesting Georgia’s law rather than move production of the movie Hillbilly Elegyout of the state.
“In the end,” Perkins wrote in his Washington Update, “they know that'll cost them less than moving to an over-regulated liberal state with sky-high taxes.”
The bill is AB 1442.
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
Photo courtesy: Ahmet Yalcinkaya/Unsplash
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.