The president and co-founder of a Georgia-based video game development company has resigned following intense backlash to his support of Texas’ fetal heartbeat law banning most abortions in the state beyond six weeks’ gestation.
On Saturday, John Gibson, former president of Tripwire Interactive and a pro-life Christian, tweeted praise for the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 vote on Sept. 1 to uphold the Texas law.
“Proud of #USSupremeCourt affirming the Texas law banning abortion for babies with a heartbeat” Gibson wrote. “As an entertainer I don’t get political often. Yet with so many vocal peers on the other side of this issue, I felt it was important to go on the record as a pro-life game developer.”
Gibson’s former company produced the popular “Red Orchestra” series and “Killing Floor” series. The company issued a statement on Monday distancing itself from Gibson’s affirmation of the Texas pro-life legislation.
“The comments given by John Gibson are of his own opinion, and do not reflect those of Tripwire Interactive as a company,” the statement read. “His comments disregarded the values of our whole team, our partners and much of our broader community. Our leadership team at Tripwire are deeply sorry and are unified in our commitment to take swift action and to foster a more positive environment. Effective immediately, John Gibson has stepped down as CEO of Tripwire Interactive.”
In a statement following his resignation, Gibson was conciliatory. “For those upset about my exit,” Gibson wrote, “I encourage you to continue your support of Tripwire and their many amazing partners. Please know that the owners and executive team of Tripwire have acted with class, professionalism, and have treated me well with great care and dignity, and I will be forever grateful for this.”
The new Texas law also allows private citizens to take civil action against anyone who “performs or induces an abortion” or “knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion, including paying for or reimbursing the costs of abortion through insurance or otherwise.”
On Sept. 3, state District Judge Maya Guerra Gamble in Austin, Texas, temporarily shielded Planned Parenthood abortion clinics in the state from being sued by Texas Right to Life under the new law.
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said Monday that the federal government was exploring “all options” to challenge the law and “protect the constitutional rights of women and other persons.”
“While the Justice Department urgently explores all options to challenge Texas SB8 in order to protect the constitutional rights of women and other persons, including access to an abortion, we will continue to protect those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services pursuant to our criminal and civil enforcement of the FACE Act, 18 U.S.C. § 248,” Garland said in a statement.
Gov. Greg Abbott signed the Texas Heartbeat Act into law in May, but on July 13, a group of abortion providers and pro-abortion nonprofit organizations filed a lawsuit seeking to block the measure from going into effect.
On Aug. 30, lawyers for several abortion providers—including Planned Parenthood—filed a last-minute request with the U.S. Supreme Court for an emergency injunction. The petition was directed to Justice Samuel Alito, who handles requests from Texas’ 5th Circuit.
The justices’ eventual 5-4 decision to allow the Texas law to stand revealed a deeply divided court. Chief Justice John Roberts dissented along with the court’s three liberal justices.