Scouts for the 10-part series “The Power” had been in Savannah, Georgia, preparing for the arrival of director Reed Morano before she canceled her trip, according to Time magazine.
In an Instagram post on Tuesday, Morano, who won an Emmy for directing Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” said it felt “wrong” to continue a project in Georgia in light of the bill.
“It feels wrong for a reason,” Morano said. “And it felt wrong to us to go ahead and make our show and take money/tax credit from a state that is taking this stance on the abortion issue.”
She added: “We just couldn’t do it.”
The so-called “heartbeat” bill, authored by Republican state Rep. Ed Setzler, bans abortions in the state as soon as a doctor can detect a fetal heartbeat, at around six weeks into pregnancy — when many women aren’t even aware they’re pregnant yet.
The new law will take effect in 2020 and is expected to strip abortion access for millions of women in Georgia.
“We had no problem stopping the entire process instantly,” Morano told Time. “There is no way we would ever bring our money to that state by shooting there.”
Morano’s decision to leave Georgia follows promises by other prominent figures in the TV and film industry to stop filming in the state after Kemp signed the bill on May 7.
In March, dozens of actors signed a letter to Kemp pledging to not work in the state if the bill becomes law. Among the signees were Alyssa Milano, who led the pledge, Christina Applegate, Zoe Kravitz, Judd Apatow, Uzo Aduba and Ashley Judd.
David Simon, who created HBO’s “The Wire,” said earlier this month that he wouldn’t pursue any projects in Georgia because he didn’t want women on his production team to “marginalize themselves or compromise their inalienable authority over their own bodies.”
“I must undertake production where the rights of all citizens remain intact,” Simon tweeted on May 8.
On May 9, film producer Christine Vachon said her production company Killer Films would not consider Georgia as a “viable shooting location until this ridiculous law is overturned.”
Time magazine reported Tuesday that the Lionsgate comedy “Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar,” co-written by and starring Kristin Wiig, was also pulled from the state in response to the bill.
Those who work in Georgia’s film industry are troubled by the protest.
The Women of Film in Georgia launched a counter-petition last week asking filmmakers to keep the state on their location scouting list, arguing that a boycott would affect industry workers more than the legislators behind the bill.
Morano told Time that the consequences for Georgia’s workforce were “the hardest part” of her decision to leave the state, but she defended the move.
“I’m sorry if the work moves away from where you live. But having this basic fundamental right for women is more important than anything in this moment in time,” she told the magazine.