The creator of US crime drama The Wire has said he will not film his new non-fiction series in Texas after the state introduced a near-ban on abortions.
David Simon, who created the Emmy-nominated series set in Baltimore, said he "can’t and won’t ask female cast/crew to forgo civil liberties to film" in the state after it passed a law prohibiting abortions once a foetal heartbeat can be detected, usually around six weeks.
In a post on Twitter, Mr Simon said: "If an employer, this is beyond politics. I’m turning in scripts next month on an HBO non-fiction miniseries based on events in Texas, but I can’t and won’t ask female cast/crew to forgo civil liberties to film there. What else looks like Dallas/Ft. Worth?"
He continued: "My first obligation as an employer is to the people working on the production. I can’t ask them to locate in Texas and forgo civil liberties. Not ethical. Ever."
In response to reactions from Twitter users who disagreed with him, he wrote: "I believe in a woman’s right to abort an embryo or fetus should that be her personal choice."
"They (women) are all entitled to film where their basic rights remain intact," he replied to one social media user.
The new Texas law came into force earlier this month and prohibits abortions once medical professionals can detect cardiac activity, which is usually around six weeks and before some women even know they are pregnant.
The law allows no exceptions for rape or incest.
It sparked widespread protest across the United States and been slammed by President Joe Biden whose administration has asked a federal judge to declare the law as invalid to "protect the rights that Texas has violated."
Earlier this month a doctor who performed an abortion in defiance of the state's ban on the procedures has been sued in what could be a test of the legality of the new law.
Dr Alan Braid claimed to have carried out a procedure beyond the six week limit because he believes "abortion is an essential part of healthcare".
Prosecutors cannot take criminal action against Braid, because the law explicitly forbids that.
The only way the ban can be enforced is through lawsuits brought by private citizens, who don’t have to be from Texas and who are entitled to claim at least $10,000 in damages if successful.
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