State Rep. Tony Tinderholt, R-Arlington, has been placed under the protection of the Texas Department of Public Safety after receiving death threats following his filing of a bill to criminalize abortion in Texas.

"Representative Tinderholt and his family have received multiple death threats leading to his family being placed under DPS protection on multiple occasions," Micah Cavanaugh, Tinderholt's chief of staff, said in a statement Monday. "Specifics to the threats cannot be discussed due to an ongoing investigation, and we do not intend to speak on behalf of law enforcement." 

The threats began after Tinderholt filed his Abolition of Abortion in Texas Act on Jan. 11, according to his political consultant, Luke Macias. Under House bill 948, both abortion providers and women who receive an abortion could be charged with murder.

Cavanaugh said Tinderholt has also received assistance from the Arlington Police Department and Tarrant County sheriff's office. "All involved have done an incredible job protecting his family during this stressful time," the statement said. 

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Last session, another state representative, Eagle Pass Democrat Alfonso “Poncho” Nevárez, received DPS protection after a confrontation with gun rights activists in his office.

Department of Public Safety spokesman Tom Vinger said the agency does not comment on "security matters."

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