The Wire creator David Simon announced he’s pulling an upcoming HBO project from filming in Texas over the state’s newly enacted Heartbeat Act.
The Heartbeat Act declares “a physician may not knowingly perform or induce an abortion on a pregnant woman if the physician detected a fetal heartbeat on a pregnant woman if the physician detected a fetal heartbeat for the unborn child as required by Section 171.203 or failed to perform a test to detect a fetal heartbeat.”
The bill also allows individuals to “bring a civil action against any person who performs or induces an abortion in violation of this subchapter; knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion, including paying for or reimbursing the costs of an abortion through insurance or otherwise, if the abortion is performed or induced in violation of this subchapter, regardless of whether the person knew or should have known that the abortion would be performed or induced in violation of this subchapter.”
In response to the Heartbeat Act, Simon took to Twitter where he announced he would not be filming in Texas.
He wrote, “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?”
Simon would go on to claim that him leaving the state of Texas has nothing to do with “political efficacy.”
He responded to a tweet from Dallas Film & Creative Industries Office who tweeted, “Laws of a state are not reflective of its entire population. Not bringing a production to Dallas (a big “D”) only serves to further disenfranchise those that live here.”
They added, “We need talent/crew/creatives to stay & vote, not get driven out by inability to make a living.”
Simon responded, “You misunderstand completely. My response is NOT rooted in any debate about political efficacy or the utility of any boycott. My singular responsibility is to securing and maintaining the civil liberties of all those we employ during the course of a production.”
In response to another Twitter user, Simon wrote, “Employing people in any profession and assuring their civil liberties wherever you ask them to do their jobs is unrelated to f***mutts spouting empty and rank horseshit on Twitter. And thank goodness.”
In response to another user Simon wrote, “No Dianabunchanumbers, I don’t anticipate anything other than that if even one of our employees requires full control of her own body and choices — and if a law denies this or further criminalizes our attempt to help her exercise that control, we should have filmed elsewhere.”
In response to another user who suggested he use Honolulu as a replacement, Simon tweeted, “Honolulu would work but for the palm trees, shoreline and absence of square-headed, all-hat-no-cattle shitposters trying to use hack politicians to crawl into every last womb they can. Maybe Tulsa.”
Simon would then reiterate his claim that moving the show out of Texas is not “a political decision.”
He wrote, “Love Austin and San Antonio. Even like Houston some. And you are blissfully unaware that this is not a political decision for us; we can’t ethically ask any female cast/crew to relocate to any state that requires them to forgo civil liberties. The end.”
Simon would then respond to a user who asked, “So you’re open to effectively forcing your employees to forfeit their right to choose what to do with their body via Covid vaccines?”
He responded, “Astonishing that I can distinguish between a PRIVATE individual’s reproductive choice that involves their singularity — and collective participation in a PUBLIC health crisis in which decisions affect society as whole. Crazy, yeah, but hey, I’m not a submoronic ideologue.”
According to Bruce M Carlson and Bradley Merrill Patten and published in Patten’s Foundations of Embryology, 6th Edition, “The time of fertilization represents the starting point in the life history, or ontogeny, of the individual.”
The American College of Pediatricians also declares that “The predominance of human biological research confirms that human life begins at conception—fertilization.”
They add, “At fertilization, the human being emerges as a whole, genetically distinct, individuated zygotic living human organism, a member of the species Homo sapiens, needing only the proper environment in order to grow and develop. The difference between the individual in its adult stage and in its zygotic stage is one of form, not nature. This statement focuses on the scientific evidence of when an individual human life begins.”
As for the idea of committing an abortion being a civil liberty, let’s first start off with what a civil liberty is.
As defined by the Constitution Center a civil liberty is the “basic rights and freedoms guaranteed to individuals as protection from any arbitrary actions or other interference of the government without due process of law.”
They add, “Simply put, they’re the basic rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution—especially, in the Bill of Rights.
Given that human life begins at fertilization, that human life is an individual entitled to civil liberties. So, while Simon can make the claim a woman is being denied civil liberties by the Heartbeat Act, he’s simply wrong.
Because by committing an abortion, the woman and all those involved in the procedure are denying the civil liberties entitled to the baby.
Even if you took Simon’s idea about civil liberties at face value, abortion is still a moral evil. The Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly states, “Since the first century the Church as affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law.”
The magisterial document Donum Vitae (The Gift of Life) the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith affirmed that, “The human being is to be respected and treated as a person from the moment of conception; and therefore from that same moment his rights as a person must be recognized, among which in the first place is the inviolable right of every innocent human being to life.”
What do you make of Simon’s move to pull the HBO project from Texas?