The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Tiffany Haddish compares Georgia’s abortion law to slavery, says decision to cancel show ‘wasn’t tough at all’

Tiffany Haddish arrives at the Australian premiere of "The Secret Life of Pets 2" on June 6. (Dan Himbrechts/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

Tiffany Haddish delivered some bad news Saturday to her Georgia fans: The comedian couldn’t in good conscience tell jokes onstage in Atlanta because of the state’s new “heartbeat bill,” which would effectively ban abortions.

“After much deliberation, I am postponing my upcoming show in Atlanta,” Haddish said in a statement to ticket holders, according to CNN. “I love the state of Georgia, but I need to stand with women and until they withdraw Measure HB481, I cannot in good faith perform there.”

Gov. Brian Kemp (R) last month signed the measure that prohibits abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, which can occur as early as six weeks into pregnancy. Since then, several big-name celebrities and Hollywood production companies have pledged to boycott the state unless the law, which is set to go into effect in 2020, is repealed. Georgia is the third largest film and TV production hub after Los Angeles and New York.

Joining the chorus of famous opponents of the “heartbeat bill,” Haddish told TMZ on Sunday that her decision to postpone her Atlanta show “wasn’t tough at all.”

“If I can’t have control of my body and if no other woman can have control over her body, why would I perform there?” Haddish said.

Gathering steam, the comedian went on: “I don’t know how it’s going to be solved to be honest with you, but what I do know is slavery is not cool. … I read that bill, and it looks like new slavery to me.”

Haddish, who was in the California foster care system as a child, said she knew what it was like being under the government’s supervision.

“I don’t want anybody telling me how I can control my body,” she continued, growing emotional during the impromptu interview. “I’ve been there. … I was state property. … I belonged to the government of California. … Now I’m a grown woman, I get to determine what I do with my body.”