When actress Ashley Bratcher accepted the role of Abby Johnson for the movie Unplanned she was warned by the movie’s producers that it could be a career killer. The oh-so-tolerant cultural elites of Hollywood would likely blacklist her for starring in a film that attacks the sacred cow of abortion and dares to speak truth to power concerning Planned Parenthood. She didn’t back out and she isn’t backing down.
In an interview with Fox News last December, Bratcher said the role was worth it, “even if I’m blacklisted.” Despite a media blackout — including the refusal of most major media outlets even to run paid ads for the movie — the independently produced film has out-performed all industry expectations at the box office and earned the “highest per screen average” of any indie film debut in U.S. history.
In an op-ed for Deadline, Ashley Bratcher has taken on fellow actress Alyssa Milano, who has called on the film industry to stop making films in Georgia because the state legislature has passed a “fetal heartbeat” bill. The legislation would prohibit abortion procedures if the baby’s heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks. Rosie O’Donnell, Amy Schumer, Ben Stiller, Sarah Silverman, Don Cheadle, Mia Farrow, Essence Atkins, Alec Baldwin, and a growing bevy of the usual celebrity suspects have signed on to Milano’s letter to Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, warning him to veto the bill or face the wrath of Hollywood — and the potential loss of billions of dollars in revenue for the Peach State’s budding film industry.
Framing her op-ed as a “Dear Alyssa Milano” letter, Bratcher writes: “Mother to mother, actress to actress, and as a proud Georgian, I’ve got some things to say to you. Hollywood may be silent on women’s rights but Georgia, the new home of the movie industry, is making its voice heard loud and clear. I’m incredibly proud of my home state for taking a stand in the fight for life amidst backlash and dubious threats.”
Noting that Milano's posse is warning that Georgia’s pro-life stance could result in it losing its “Hollywood of the South” status, Bratcher defiantly responds that “it’s pretty evident that Georgia has its own identity and that it won’t be bowing down to Hollywood anytime soon.”
“I can’t help but think how you would feel in my shoes,” Bratcher says in her letter to Milano. “Having just learned months ago that my life was spared on an abortion table, it definitely put a few things in perspective for me. You had the privilege of being born in 1972. My generation was not so lucky. Over 61 million lives never reached their full potential. How many doctors, scientists, philosophers, and even actors like you and me, never had the chance to leave their beautiful marks on the world? I too, just one year ago, was more pro-choice than I am today. It was during the filming of my latest movie, Unplanned, that I was truly convinced how wrong I had been. That’s the power of film.”
As to the economic boycott threats, Bratcher writes:
Well Alyssa, let me make something very clear to you. In Georgia, we care just as much about being pro-life as being pro-film. We don’t believe in putting a price tag on the value of a human life. Our brave leaders have stepped up to say enough is enough, we will no longer sit idly by as innocent lives are taken by the thousands each day. If you fault Georgia for choosing to be morally correct over politically correct, then that says more of your personal agenda than the goal of our governor to protect life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all. You claim that the HB481 “Heartbill Bill” would make Georgia the most regressive state in the country; I couldn’t disagree more. Abortion is so 1973. Welcome to 2019, a time in which medical advances preserve the life of babies born as early as 21 weeks. In case you didn’t know, that’s three weeks earlier than what most states in the U.S. consider “viable” in their abortion legislation.
“You want a working environment that is safe, respectful, tolerant and full of love?” she asks, and then answers: “I know a place just like that and I call it home. Women do not seek abortions because they feel strong or empowered, they seek them because they are scared. They seek abortions because society and the new-age feminist movement perpetuate the lie that women cannot be successful and be mothers. Those of us on the other side of the fence are here with open arms saying, ‘Yes, you can!’”
Bratcher concludes her op-ed: “You hail Georgia as the ‘Hollywood of the South’ but you should know, it’s pretty evident that Georgia has its own identity and that it won’t be bowing down to Hollywood anytime soon. The glitz and glamour has lost its appeal and America is watching. How sad it is that tax credits are a more important topic than the sanctity of human life.”
Image of Ashley Bratcher: Screenshot from the movie trailer for Unplanned