Julián Castro Slams Restrictive Abortion Laws in Georgia, Alabama at First Democratic Debate

"Everyone knows that in our country today, a person's right to choose is being challenged," the Obama-era Housing Secretary said.

Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro tackled controversial abortion laws in states including Georgia, Alabama and Missouri, which have become a hot topic in the entertainment industry, during the first Democratic debate in Miami on Wednesday.

When asked whether his health-care plan would cover abortion specifically during NBC's telecast, Castro responded in the affirmative, saying, "I don't believe only in reproductive freedom, but reproductive justice," to loud audience applause.

The former Obama-era Housing Secretary added that under his plan, just because a woman or a trans female is poor, that "doesn't mean they shouldn't exercise the right to choose."

Castro then mentioned controversial and restrictive bills on abortion that have passed in several states in the last few months, issuing a challenge to Roe v. Wade. "Everyone knows that in our country today, a person's right to choose is being challenged in Georgia, Alabama and Missouri," he said. "I would appoint judges to the bench that would support Roe v. Wade."

Following his response, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren added that she would also cover abortion under her health-care plan.

The laws at issue include Georgia's so-called fetal heartbeat abortion bill, which would outlaw abortions as early as six weeks, when many women do not yet know if they are pregnant. Georgia's law prompted a delayed response from Hollywood studios, many of which film in the tax credit-friendly state, that soon turned into a mass display of opposition to the legislation. Production companies including Killer Films, Blown Deadline Productions, Colorforce, Duplass Brothers Productions and CounterNarrative Films all vowed not to work in the state while the law was still in place by May 9. Later, by May 30, Netflix, Viacom, CBS, Sony, AMC, NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia all publicly denounced the law, with all saying they would monitor the law and that it might affect their production decisions going forward.

Still other Hollywood creators chose to denounce the law in other ways: Broad City's Ilana Glazer moved her upcoming film away from Georgia due to the law, while producers Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping of the Fear Street movie filming in Georgia donated millions to the ACLU to fight the law and producer J.J. Abrams and Jordan Peele pledged to donate their episodic fees for the first season of Lovecraft County, shooting in the state, to the ACLU and Fair Fight Georgia.

Other controversial abortion laws that are waiting to go into effect include Alabama's recently passed law, which criminalizes abortions at any stage of a pregnancy and whose only exception is when a woman's life is in danger, the strictest abortion law in the country, and laws in Missouri, Louisiana, Mississippi and Ohio.