A Texas judge believes Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion groups are targeting him in a new lawsuit because he is unashamedly pro-life.
District Judge Austin Reeve Jackson is one of the parties named as a defendant in a lawsuit challenging the new Texas heartbeat law, KLTV News 7 reports.
During a news conference Wednesday, Jackson said radical pro-abortion groups are trying to silence him, according to the Tyler Morning Telegraph.
“The left is so used to the idea of having an activist judge that they believe any judge can be bought, bullied, or beaten into submission or resignation,” he said. “Make no mistake this lawsuit is a direct attack by far-left groups on the rule of law and the right of pro-life communities to elect people who share their values.”
Attorney Shane McGuire, who is representing Jackson, said they plan to file a request to dismiss the lawsuit later this week. He expressed confidence that their request will be granted because Texas law prohibits lawsuits against sitting judges, the report states.
“Reeve was targeted because of his character,” McGuire said. “He’ll prevail because of the law.”
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Because of a unique provision in the new heartbeat law that allows individuals to file lawsuits against abortionists who violate the abortion ban, Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union and Whole Woman’s Health, another abortion chain, are suing Jackson and other public officials to try to stop them from processing the lawsuits. The abortion groups’ lawsuit also names Mark Lee Dickson, director with Right to Life of East Texas and founder of the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn initiative.
Jackson said he will continue to stand for what is right, no matter how much Planned Parenthood threatens him.
“… as for me and my house, we will continue to serve the Lord,” he said. “I am 100 percent committed to seeing this frivolous lawsuit dismissed, the attempts to run Christians out of elected office defeated, and the voice and the vote of pro-life Texans defended.”
In their lawsuit, the pro-abortion groups asked a federal judge “to prevent any of the state’s trial court judges, potentially more than 1,000 throughout Texas, from enforcing the law and to block court clerks from accepting the lawsuits,” according to Newsmax.
They argue that the law will unfairly allow abortionists to be saddled with frivolous lawsuits and cause abortion facilities to close.
To Amy Hagstrom Miller, who makes her living as president and CEO of the Whole Woman’s Health abortion chain, the law could bring about a “nightmarish future.”
“This is far and away the most extreme restriction on abortion I’ve ever seen,” she told the Chronicle in July. “If this law is allowed to stand in Texas, it won’t be long before it shows up in other states.”
The heartbeat law, which is scheduled to go into effect Sept. 1, prohibits abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, about six weeks of pregnancy. Unique from other state heartbeat laws, the Texas legislation includes a private enforcement mechanism that allows people to file lawsuits against abortionists who violate the law.
The provision is similar to language in the Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinances that are passing at the city level, and pro-life leaders believe the law is more likely to withstand a legal challenge and save babies’ lives.
A Texas judge recently threw out Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit against a similar provision at the local level, the Lubbock Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinance.
The heartbeat law has the potential to save tens of thousands of unborn babies’ lives every year. In 2019, more than 56,600 unborn babies were aborted in the state, according to state health statistics. The Center for Reproductive Rights estimates about 85 percent of abortions in Texas happen after six weeks.