Lena Dunham, Shonda Rhimes and Issa Rae demand abortion protection from studio execs

‘It is unacceptable to ask any person to choose between their human rights and their employment,’ letter states

Maanya Sachdeva
Friday 29 July 2022 09:27 BST
Glastonbury 2022: Every performer who used their platform to criticise Roe v Wade

Prominent TV talent including Issa Rae, Lena Dunham and Shonda Rhimes are demanding that studios create abortion protocols to protect employees after the overturning of Roe v Wade.

On Thursday (28 July), it was reported that over 400 creators, showrunners and headwriters in Hollywood had signed an open letter addressed to studio executives at Netflix, Warner Bros, NBC Universal, and Discovery.

The letter, which was obtained by Variety, outlined specific guidelines to safeguard the rights of employees in anti-abortion US states following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade – noting it is “unacceptable to ask any person to choose between their human rights and their employment”.

Among the demands listed in the letter, also signed by Russian Doll actor Natasha Lyonne and comedian Chelsea Handler, among others, is subsidised travel costs for employees seeking abortions, guaranteed employee privacy, as well as criminal and civil protection for anyone helping employees access abortions.

Hollywood is also seeking protocols for medical care for “ectopic pregnancies and other pregnancy complications”, per Variety’s report.

Finally, the creators who have signed the open letter want studios to halt donations to “anti-abortion candidates and political action committees” with immediate effect.

“As productions are currently in progress in states where abortion is illegal or pending criminalisation, your immediate written response is required and expected within 10 business days of 28 July, 2022,” the letter read.

Several Hollywood celebrities have spoken out against the US Supreme Court for revoking American women’s constitutional right to abortions.

These include Kendrick Lamar, Olivia Rodrigo and Phoebe Bridgers, who used their stages at Glastonbury Festival in the UK to condemn the ruling.

Several others such as Cher, Hilarie Burton and Meghan Markle have reflected on past miscarriages in light of the Supreme Court’s widely criticised decision.

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