Texas GOP lawmaker facing 'security concerns' after blocking bill allowing death penalty for abortion

Police say a Texas GOP lawmaker is facing “security concerns” after he blocked a controversial abortion bill that would make it possible for women to be convicted of homicide and sentenced to death for having the procedure.

State Rep. Jeff Leach (R) stopped House Bill 896 from moving through the Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee, which he chairs, according to The Texas Tribune

Collin County Sheriff Jim Skinner told the local news outlet that he has since been in contact with Leach over “security concerns.”

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“My office has been in touch with him regarding some security concerns that we were made aware of,” Skinner told The Texas Tribune. “We’re taking appropriate measures and outside of that, there’s no additional comment.”

He did not disclose details of what “safety concerns” Leach is facing.

Leach released a statement Wednesday on Twitter saying he would not allow state Rep. Tony Tinderholt’s (R) bill to advance.

The legislation, previously introduced by Tinderholt in 2017, would guarantee “equal protection” for life inside and "outside the womb,” according to the GOP lawmaker.

He released a statement defending the legislation after Leach blocked it, saying, "some think we should exempt mothers, but that would inherently treat unborn children differently than other people who are murdered."

Reports of the bill garnered national attention and widespread backlash from critics.

Tinderholt reportedly had to be placed under state protection last time he introduced the bill.

Leach said in his statement that the bill moves "our state and the pro-life cause in the wrong direction."

“My commitment to advancing the pro-life cause is stronger than ever and that’s why I cannot in good conscience support House Bill 896 – legislation that subjects women who undergo abortions to criminal liability and even the possibility of the death penalty,” he said.

The Hill has reached out to Leach for comment.