AUSTIN, Texas — A Texas lawmaker has been placed under state protection after receiving death threats over his recently-introduced bill to protect the lives of unborn children.
The Texas Department of Public Safety is providing security assistance to Rep. Tony Tinderholt, R-Arlington, who has reportedly received multiple death threats, as well as his wife.
His political consultant, Luke Macias, told the Dallas News that the Arlington Police Department and the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office has been involved due to the number of threats and an investigation is underway.
“All involved have done an incredible job protecting his family during this stressful time,” Macias said.
He advised that Tinderholt’s “wife in particular” had been threatened.
Tinderholt’s chief of staff, Micah Cavanaugh, confirmed the situation.
“Representative Tinderholt and his family have received multiple death threats leading to his family being placed under DPS protection on multiple occasions,” he told the Texas Tribune. “Specifics to the threats cannot be discussed due to an ongoing investigation, and we do not intend to speak on behalf of law enforcement.”
The threats surround Tinderholdt’s submission of H.B. 948 earlier this month, also known as the Abolition of Abortion in Texas Act. As previously reported, the bill declares that unborn children are entitled to human rights from the moment of conception, and removes current exemptions under state criminal homicide law relating to abortion.
“A living human child, from the moment of fertilization upon the fusion of a human spermatozoon with a human ovum is entitled to the same rights, powers, and privileges as are secured or granted by the laws of this state to any other human child,” it reads in part.
Abortions committed in cases when the mother’s life is at risk would not be prosecuted as murder.
“When you read and see how abortions are performed, and how they end the life of an innocent child, it amazes me that we allow that,” Tinderholdt told the Star-Telegram. “When we look back over history and we see … the cultures that took the lives of children, people are appalled by that. People are going to do that with America, too, and look back one day and say they can’t believe we allowed this.”
He said that the bill is in response to language in the Texas Republican Party platform, which was passed in May, calling for the complete abolition of abortion in the state.
“We call upon the Texas legislature to enact legislation stopping the murder of unborn children; and to ignore and refuse to enforce any and all federal statutes, regulations, executive orders, and court rulings, which would deprive an unborn child of the right to life,” the platform text reads.
Macais says that while Tinderholt and his wife, who identify as Roman Catholic, have received death threats over the matter, there has also been positive feedback from those supportive of defending life.
“Local law enforcement have been very protective of him and his family,” he stated. “The truth is that he has received a tremendous amount of feedback—both positive and negative—on the subject of his legislation.”