Hollywood Showrunners, Directors Raise Abortion Aid, Call On Studios To Step It Up

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More than 1,400 Hollywood directors and showrunners have raised $2.5 million to help women access abortions, and are calling on studios to do more to protect reproductive rights.

The group wants the major studios to guarantee that employees in need of reproductive health care and related issues will be transported to medical facilities if they live in states where abortions have become illegal in the wake of the Supreme Court’s repeal of Roe v. Wade, which guaranteed abortion rights for 50 years.

Coalition activists include directors Judd Apatow (“40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Girls,” “King of Staten Island”), J.J. Abrams (“Cloverfield,” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”), producer Damon Lindeloff (“Lost,”″ Leftovers,” “Watchmen”), showrunner Shonda Rhimes (“Grey’s Anatomy”), and actor-producer Mindy Kaling (“The Office,” “The Mindy Project”).

The group wrote in July to major studios expressing members’ “grave concerns” about the companies’ “lack of specific” protocols to protect their workers in anti-abortion states, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The studios, including AMC, Amazon, Netflix, Paramount, NBC Universal and the Walt Disney Co., responded in a joint statement saying workers are covered by health plans, which they’re reviewing in light of changing abortion access.

Several coverage plans have “already adopted amendments providing for reimbursement for travel expenses associated with securing abortion services for participants and their dependents who reside or work in states where such services cannot be lawfully obtained,” the statement noted, according to Deadline. “We understand the other industry health plans will be considering similar changes this month.”

The coalition was disappointed by the vague response, Variety reported, and asked the studios to present detailed protocols by Sept. 5.