Tech CEO and self-proclaimed ‘pro-life gamer’ steps down after backing Texas abortion law

Gibson’s comment in support of Texas abortion law received backlash from the gaming industry

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Tuesday 07 September 2021 10:45
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<p>Abortion rights supporters gather to protest Texas abortion law in  Edinburg, Texas</p>

Abortion rights supporters gather to protest Texas abortion law in Edinburg, Texas

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The CEO of an American video game company has stepped down following backlash over his support for the controversial abortion law that was passed in Texas last week.

TripWire issued a statement on Monday announcing that John Gibson has stepped down and co-founder Alan Wilson will take over as the interim CEO.

"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," the statement read.

Mr Gibson tweeted on Saturday that he was proud of the court order that banned "abortion for babies with a heartbeat".

He wrote: "Proud of US Supreme Court affirming the Texas law banning abortion for babies with a heartbeat. 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".

His remarks received heavy criticism from the gaming community and one of Tripwire's development partners Shipwright Studios announced they would no longer work with the company due to Mr Gibson's anti-abortion stance.

"We cannot in good conscience continue to work with Tripwire under the current leadership structure. We will begin the cancellation of our existing contracts effective immediately," Shipwright Studios said in a statement.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed a Texas law banning most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.

The "foetal heartbeat bill" bans abortions at the point of the "first detectable heartbeat", which could happen around six weeks into pregnancy. The law even allows private citizens to sue abortion providers or anyone suspected of helping a woman terminate the pregnancy.

Although 13 other Republican states have adopted similar abortion bans, they have been blocked by the court from implementation.

Since its implementation, several pro-choice activists and citizens across the country have taken to the streets in protest against the draconian law.

US attorney general Merrick Garland said that the Justice Department is “urgently” exploring “all options” to challenge the new law. Mr Garland in a statement on Monday said the federal officials will rely on the decades-old Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act to “protect those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services.”

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