A group of prominent entertainment industry women gathered Saturday for a video conference call to discuss next steps in the reignited fight for reproductive rights in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
The gathering, which included some men, was organized in part by Katie McGrath, a partner in Bad Robot who is married to superproducer J.J. Abrams, and the social impact strategy firm Acora Partners. The presentation was said to have run about two hours. McGrath and Abrams have been vocal and active supporters of pro-choice legislators and organizations.
The discussion was said to have included a presentation from an ob-gyn and medical experts, and a presentation on the complex legalities around abortion triggered by the high court’s decision. With Roe going away, numerous states have or are in the process of enacting highly restrictive laws or outright legal bans on the medical procedure.
Among the participants in the Saturday call were producer and PR strategist Ngoc Nguyen, CAA motion pictures co-head Maha Dakhil, Del Shaw partner Nina Shaw, multihyphenates including Amy Schumer and feminist pioneer Gloria Steinem. Acora Partners leaders Catherine St-Laurent and Rebecca Goldman were said to have guided the conversation. Acora declined to comment.
A source familiar with the conversation said the participants agreed to set up regular meetings to help guide collective action in response to the jolt brought by the end of Roe and the protections for a woman’s right to chose. Much of the conversation was focused on the immediate need to generate money, health resources and a network of services for women in states like Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Ohio, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Wyoming and South Dakota where abortion is now outright illegal.
There was also discussion of the long-term need to organize and develop public policy campaigns to block any efforts to enact a federal nationwide ban on abortion. Moreover, alarm was shared over the prospect of opening up battles on more than one front, in light of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ chilling reference in his concurring opinion to the need to revisit other decisions securing fundamental rights like same-sex marriage and access to contraception.
Another source familiar with the conversation said the emphasis was on finding ways to generate help for women in affected states who need immediate assistance. The legal presentation focused on laying out the roadmap for the legal battles to come. Participants were warned that reversing the stunning loss of rights for women will take a long time.
The call opened with a reading of a rousing poem written by Amanda Gorman, who wowed the country with her appearance at President Joe Biden’s Inauguration in January 2021 after the trauma of the Jan. 6, 2021, riot. Gorman was honored last year as part of Variety‘s annual Power of Women celebration.
(Pictures: Protesters gather in downtown Los Angeles to voice anger at the Supreme Court’s reversal of landmark Roe v. Wade abortion rights ruling.)