LUBBOCK, Texas — Lubbock state representative Dustin Burrows, a co-author of Texas’ controversial Heartbeat Act, said Thursday he has been sued by 13 separate abortion providers for his role in the law that bans abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.
“I welcome the disdain of those who gleefully encourage abortion,” Rep. Burrows said in a statement. “I will wear their scorn towards me as a badge of honor.”
The plaintiffs include private doctors and abortion advocacy groups such as the Lilith Foundation, The West Fund, and the Clinic Access Support Network.
Other backlash against the bill became a security threat. The Texas Department of Public Safety announced a “credible threat” against lawmakers who voted for Senate Bill 8, originating from a Reddit post.
DPS said they “[take] all matters of personal security and public safety very seriously” but would not discuss the details of ongoing threats.
Texas Right to Life, an anti-abortion advocacy organization instrumental in Senate Bill 8’s passage, has also been sued. Legislative Director John Seago said he has also been sued.
“What we are seeing is a taste of what a post-Roe… a glimmer of what an abortion-free Texas will look like,” Seago said. “And so obviously, that is causing a lot of disturbance… Texas is starting to see what this issue is like. once we get rid of this injustice in our state, there are still a lot of people who believe it is necessary and are very angry at the people kind of leading the way to stop these abortions.”
While supporters of the law are being sued by abortion providers, abortion providers have also been sued by private citizens Senate Bill 8. Yet, Mr. Seago was quick to dismiss those lawsuits, even though they follow the jurisdiction granted by the law he helped pass. He said one is an attempt to challenge the law’s constitutionality, while the other is likely illegitimate.
“I’m not aware of a single lawsuit being filed in good faith by the pro-life movement,” Seago said. “Right now, I only know of two lawsuits that have been filed by out-of-state, disbarred attorneys who filed them as self-serving ploys to talk about themselves or to actually use it as a way to attack the law itself.”
Texas Right to Life said it is worried the Biden administration’s efforts against the law could bring a turning point to their success.
“The most credible threat against the Texas Heartbeat Act will be on October 1 when the Department of Justice’s lawsuit is going to be heard in that federal court,” Seago said. “There is a legitimate threat to the Texas Heartbeat Act being enjoined by a federal court.”
KAMC News reached out to multiple plaintiffs in these lawsuits, but they could not be reached for comment.