For comedian Tiffany Haddish, having control over her body is no joke.
Haddish, 39, spoke to PEOPLE about her decision to not perform an upcoming stand-up show in Georgia due to the state’s newly signed abortion ban.
“I read that bill and I think everyone should take the time to read it,” she told PEOPLE Tuesday at the launch of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite at Universal Studios Hollywood. “And if you really read the whole thing, you realize that it’s not just about abortion, and I get it with the abortion thing, but I don’t think anyone should determine how you control your body.”
The comedian was set to perform at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta this weekend but decided to cancel the show. A venue official told CNN that ticketholders would receive refunds.
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“That’s just like me saying, ‘you’re not allowed to be gay.’ If you do that, we’re going to cut your thang thang off, or we gonna lock you up. Like it’s not fair. It’s not right,” she told PEOPLE, comparing other countries’ harsh rules on homosexuality. “You can’t tell somebody what to do with their body.”
In a statement Saturday, The Kitchen actress said she loved Georgia, but needed “to stand with women until they withdraw Measure HB481” by not bringing her comedy to the state. Previously, Haddish filmedNight School with Kevin Hart in Atlanta.
“I cannot in good faith perform there,” she said about Georgia, where the law is expected to take effect next year.
The actress joins many other performers and industry leaders — including John Legend, Jordan Peele and Alyssa Milano — who have called for boycotts against the newly passed law. Netflix was the first major Hollywood studio to oppose the ban.
“We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law,” Netflix wrote in a statement last month. “Given the legislation has not yet been implemented, we’ll continue to film there, while also supporting partners and artists who choose not to. Should it ever come into effect, we’d rethink our entire investment in Georgia.”
Prior to Georgia Governor Brian Kemp’s signing of the bill, Milano wrote a letter vowing not to film in the state. Other actors such as Amy Schumer and Alec Baldwin signed the letter in support of Milano’s message.
“This is my daughter. Her rights are human rights,” the 46-year-old tweeted in early May.
In May, Georgia passed the law banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, the time when a doctor can allegedly detect a fetal heartbeat. It defines an “unborn child with a detectable human heartbeat” as a living person with rights.
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District attorneys could seek murder charges, but it’s not clear if they would, or if a murder charge would even stick.
“It’s not a black-and-white issue to me, but what complicates matters is that declaration of personhood,” University of Georgia law professor Ron Carlson told The Atlanta Journal and Constitution. “If this bill is upheld, there could conceivably be a test case that will have to be decided by the Georgia Supreme Court.”
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