California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom has called on producers to film in his state rather than in those that have passed restrictions on abortion.
Newsom made the request in a tweet on Wednesday that challenged Hollywood’s filmmakers and introduced incentives for production in the Golden State. His post included an image of an ad his campaign paid to place in Variety.
“Today, Hollywood will wake up to this ad. Time to choose,” Newsom wrote. “You can protect your workers, or continue to support anti-abortion states that rule with hatred.”
The governor also laid out an invitation to encourage the film industry to work in California.
“We’re here for you. We’re extending tax credits for those that come home to the Golden State. Choose freedom. Choose CA,” he added.
Newsom specifically called out Georgia and Oklahoma, labeling their pro-life laws as waging “a cruel assault on essential rights.” The governor claimed filmmakers must be responsible to “take stock of your values.”
In what appeared to be an attempted jab at Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, Newsom referred to California as a “freedom state.”
Instead of noting freedom from government overreach, Newsom said his state offers freedom to abortion care and “to love who you love,” an apparent nod to the LGBT community.
Newsom concluded with a call to “walk the walk,” urging the film industry to film, hire, and work in California.
The plea also comes as the governor expressed his support on Wednesday for a California Senate bill that would offer $330 million annually for film and television tax credits through 2030.
It’s not the first time Newsom has used the abortion issue to draw business to his state.
“We’ve got your back, but come back,” Newsom said at a news conference in June after the Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade and return abortion laws to states. “Some of you may have left the state, come on back. Some businesses may have left, come on back. It’s a point of pride that we welcome you back; we want to celebrate that we have you back.”
Two days after the Supreme Court’s ruling, Newsom, Democratic Senate President pro-Tempore Toni Atkins, and Democratic Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon also announced a state budget agreement that referred to the court’s abortion ruling.
“This budget builds on our unprecedented commitment to transform the resources available in our state, from a $47 billion multi-year infrastructure and transportation package to education and health care, showing the nation what a true pro-life agenda looks like,” they said in a statement.
“With these new investments, California will become the first state to achieve universal access to health care coverage. And in the wake of Friday’s stunning Supreme Court decision, the state is reaffirming its commitment to defending reproductive rights, providing more than $200 million in additional funding for reproductive health care services,” the statement added.
Newsom also signed legislation in March that eliminated out-of-pocket expenses for abortion services in California. The Abortion Accessibility Act claims to “ensure equitable, affordable access to abortion services so that out-of-pocket costs don’t stand in the way of receiving care.” The act prohibits health insurers from imposing a co-pay, deductible, or other cost requirements for abortions or abortion-related services.