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Ariana Grande donates $360,000 to Planned Parenthood

Ariana Grande performs on stage. The pop-star has donated a major sum to Planned Parenthood. Image: Getty

Popstar Ariana Grande has donated around US$250,000 (AU$360,000) to Planned Parenthood as America grapples with a series of anti-abortion laws in its southern states.

Missouri recently passed legislation barring abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy without any exceptions for rape or incest. This came just weeks after Alabama passed the country’s most restrictive abortion law which threatens any doctor attempting to perform an abortion with up to 99 years in prison, and outlaws all abortions except for where there is a grave threat to the woman’s life.

In addition to marches across the USA and internationally, several celebrities including Busy Phillips and Jameela Jamil have spoken out against the laws, with Grande now following their lead, donating the proceeds from her concert in Atlanta last week to Planned Parenthood.

Ariana Grande’s generous donation comes at a critical time — in Georgia and across the country, anti-women’s health politicians are trying to ban all safe, legal abortion,” Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Dr. Leana Wen told People.

“This is not what the American people want, nor is it something they’ll stand for.”

Wen said the money will help Planned Parenthood fight the bills in courts, Congress, on the streets and in state houses, describing the laws as “dangerous attacks on people’s health and lives”.

“We are so grateful to Ariana for her longstanding commitment to supporting women’s rights and standing with Planned Parenthood to defend access to reproductive health care.”

The donation comes after anti-Pride demonstrators protested outside her Atlanta performance, with Grande expressing sadness but not surprise.

“i’m so sorry any of my fans had to encounter this. we will do our best to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” the popstar wrote on Twitter.

“proud of u all for not fighting / engaging violently. never worth it. wishing him peace & a healed heart cause girl yikes.”

Georgia grapples with abortion boycott

Georgia recently signed an abortion bill into law that would ban abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected - one of the strictest measures. It means abortions could be banned within six weeks of conception - a time-frame in which many women don’t know they’re pregnant.

However, the controversial bill has met with boycott threats from America’s film industry. Georgia is the third-largest film production hub in the US, after New York and California, and has been chosen to make films like Avengers: Endgame and Netflix’s Stranger Things.

In May, Disney, WarnerMedia and Netflix all said they will reconsider filming in the state.

Disney co chief executive, Bob Iger told Reuters it would be “very difficult” to continue making films in Georgia if the abortion law takes effect.

"I think many people who work for us will not want to work there, and we will have to heed their wishes in that regard. Right now we are watching it very carefully,” he said, explaining that it would not be “practical” to continue working there if the law takes effect.

Film stars Kristen Wiig and Alyssa Milano have both pledged to avoid working there should the law come into action, with producer Reed Morano of The Handmaid’s Tale also taking the same stance.

Morana however said she was concerned about taking work away from the 92,000 Georgians in the film and TV industry.

A petition started by Milano to boycott Georgia over the bill has been signed by more than 100 Hollywood actors, including Jessica Chastain, Mark Hamill, Brie Larsen, Patton Oswalt, Natalie Portman, Sean Penn, Mark Ruffalo and Ben Stiller.

Singer John Legend has said Hollywood should consider boycotting Louisiana and Alabama in addition to Georgia, although admitted he was unsure a boycott would be entirely successful.

However, he argued: “It's a conversation that needs to be had."

"Particularly when these studios are hiring people and bringing people to the state and saying, 'Come work with us here in this state,' but if you get pregnant there you're going to be treated like a second-class citizen," he said. "That's a tough conversation to have with your staff. And so I think hopefully the pressure that the studios are putting on will help Georgia and other states see the error of their ways."

Jennifer Aniston, who will appear in Netflix film “Murder Mystery” said she also supported the platform’s decision to shift production away from Georgia.

She told Variety: “I think it’s fantastic. Good for them. They have the voices, they have the power, and that’s the way you have change happen.”

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