ATLANTA — Atlanta Hawks principal owner Tony Ressler said Georgia’s “heartbeat” abortion law was “bad business” and criticized Gov. Brian Kemp’s “political malpractice” over the law in an interview with CNBC on Friday.
“How could you say you’re business friendly, and yet go after what is in fact one of your largest employers?” the private equity billionaire asked in the interview.
Ressler is among a number of high-profile business figures, mostly from the entertainment industry, who have criticized the law, which would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, generally about six weeks into a pregnancy.
His comments come after a week in which Disney CEO Bob Iger said he "rather doubt(s)" the company would continue filming in Georgia if the law takes effect, and Netflix said "we'd rethink our entire investment in Georgia" if it is upheld in court.
“Knowing that that industry is a liberal industry, and is in fact focused on pro-choice as really core to many of the companies that operate, as you’re hearing in response to production leaving or potentially leaving the state, my view is it’s literally political malpractice to poke in the eye one of the largest industries that employs your population,” Ressler said.
Kemp signed the law, one of a number being passed by states tightly restricting abortion access, last month.
Ressler, who has founded two private equity firms and is also a minority owner of baseball’s Milwaukee Brewers, led a group that purchased the Hawks in 2015 for a reported $850 million.
“I’d say it’s really bad business,” he said of the law. “I guess a diplomatic way of avoiding the actual social issue and the political issue, but it really is bad business if you think about it.”
MORE ON THE ABORTION LAW
- Film crew to production companies: ‘Boycotting Georgia film is basically boycotting us’
- Amid abortion controversy, Gov. Kemp's film studio tour questioned
- Heartbeat Law: How Disney productions impact the state of Georgia
- WarnerMedia, NBCUniversal join list of companies threatening to leave Georgia over abortion law