Shonda Rhimes and Lena Dunham Among Over 400 TV Creators to Demand Abortion Protections from Execs
Cover Images/Sara De Boer

The 'Girls' creator and the Shondaland boss send an open letter to industry bosses, noting their 'grave concerns' for staff taking the 'grave risk' to be working in states that have outlawed abortion in the wake of the Roe v. Wade overturn.

AceShowbiz - Lena Dunham and Shonda Rhimes are taking major action. The "Girls" creator and the Shondaland boss are among over 400 TV creators and writers that have demanded abortion protection from executives.

Lena and Shonda are part of a 411-strong group of showrunners and head writers who have penned an open letter to industry bosses, in which they noted their "grave concerns" for staff taking the "grave risk" to be working in states that have outlawed abortion in the wake of the U.S. supreme court overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling which gave women the constitutional right to a termination, and set out the steps they want to see put in place.

The later, which was also signed by Issa Rae, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Chelsea Handler, Amy Schumer, Mindy Kaling, Natasha Lyonne, and Ava DuVernay, stated in part, "We, the undersigned, are 411 show creators, showrunners and head writers who currently work across every network and streaming platform in the industry today, including those controlled by Netflix."

"We have grave concerns about the lack of specific production protocols in place to protect those at work for Netflix in anti-abortion states," the letter added. "It is unacceptable to ask any person to choose between their human rights and their employment. This situation raises basic matters of equality, health, and safety in the workplace."

It continued, "Many of us would not have the careers and families we have today if we had not been granted the freedom to choose what was best for ourselves. We are committed, as a group, to protecting our fundamental human rights and those of our colleagues."

Though the letter shared by Variety was addressed to Netflix, others were sent to the likes of Disney, Warner Bros., Apple, Paramount, Amazon, AMC, Lionsgate, Discovery and NBC Universal, and called for an "abortion safety plan."

The document asked for the networks to "address this emergency in full," with a specific set of points they want addressed." These were, "Published policies and procedures to provide an abortion travel subsidy for employees of your productions including specific information on how the employee's medical privacy will be safeguarded."

"Protocols outlining the scope of medical care for employees of your productions, including ectopic pregnancies and other pregnancy complications that require medical treatment via abortion while working for Netflix," it stated. "Policy regarding criminal and civil legal protection, including indemnification and defense against liability, for any member of a production who facilitates Netflix's protocols or provides Netflix's policy information and guidelines to an employee seeking an abortion. Pledge to discontinue all political donations to anti-abortion candidates and political action committees immediately."

The group has requested a response within 10 business days. Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri and South Dakota are among those that have already banned abortion in their states following the Supreme Court's decision.

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