The CEO of an American video game developer stepped down after he issued a statement supportive of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of a law in Texas that bans abortions after detection of a fetal heartbeat.
The company, Tripwire Interactive LLC, announced in a statement on Monday that John Gibson “has stepped down as CEO” of the company, effective immediately.
He added, “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.”
Two days later, Tripwire issued a statement distancing itself from Gibson’s views.
“The comments given by John Gibson are of his own opinion, and do not reflect those of Tripwire Interactive as a company,” said the statement.
“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.”
Alan Wilson, the current vice president of Tripwire, will take over as interim CEO.
The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled in favor of the Texas Heartbeat Act (Senate Bill 8), signed into law by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in May. It bans doctors from performing or inducing an abortion unless he or she has determined whether the unborn child has a detectable fetal heartbeat, which can be detected as early as six weeks after conception.
If a heartbeat is found, the doctor can only carry out the abortion in a medical emergency. The measure does not have an exception for a pregnancy due to incest or rape.
Under the law, state officials cannot enforce the measure. Instead, private citizens—except for an individual who impregnated a woman through incest or rape—may file lawsuits against doctors, clinics, and anyone who is allegedly involved in an abortion that violates the law.
Those found to have violated the law would have to pay $10,000 to the private citizen who filed the lawsuit.
The law went into effect on Sept. 1. The Supreme Court on the same day denied an effort to stop the measure from taking effect, in a 5-4 ruling. A district court and an appeals court had also previously declined to intervene.
“The applicants now before us have raised serious questions regarding the constitutionality of the Texas law at issue,” the majority said. “But their application also presents complex and novel antecedent procedural questions on which they have not carried their burden” to get a preliminary injunction issued.
Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.