This Monday, when the Texas Heartbeat Bill is argued at the Supreme Court there will be a special kind of anticipation for those who wrote this law and, by doing so, made great, personal sacrifices. Texas Representative and Students for Life of America alumni, Briscoe Cain, is a part of this small but extremely courageous camp.
As an author of one of the most controversial abortion bills to date, the Texas Heartbeat Bill, Cain now faces over 10 different lawsuits for his involvement with the bill, and he has no regrets. His story is a powerful reminder of the determination of the pro-life movement and the potential in all of our students to push back and beat abortion.
A native-born Texan, Cain first became involved with Students for Life of America in 2010 while in law school as a member of Law Students for Life, a branch of SFLA. He had already created the first pro-life law students' organization in Texas when he heard about SFLA. Wanting to be a part of something bigger, Cain converted his group into an SFLA chapter. His involvement with pro-life activism did not stop when he graduated from school. Instead, as for Cain and many others, SFLA was a diving board into the movement.
As an attorney, one of Cain’s most notable pro-life contributions was a dark discovery about Texas medical schools. In 2015, Cain started an investigation into the medical schools, issuing public information requests that would reveal four different Texan medical schools were using tax dollars to buy aborted fetal tissue. Through this investigation, Cain would also find that Planned Parenthood had broken the law by selling these body parts for profit. Due to Cain’s work, Planned Parenthood may be prosecuted for its actions. This is an important step in exposing more of the abortion industry’s dirty, violent deeds.
After being elected to the Texas House of Representatives, Cain began the process of eradicating abortion via legislation. In early March of 2021, Cain sent the groundbreaking Heartbeat Bill to the Texas House Public Health Committee after authoring it with Representatives Shelby Slawson, Will Metcalf, and Candy Noble. The bill prohibits abortions after the detection of a prenatal heartbeat, and, after going into effect on September 1st, it has blocked about 85-90% of Texan abortions. With such an effect, the Texas Heartbeat Bill has caused nationwide controversy. Now, Cain is receiving serious backlash for his service to the pro-life movement.
On September 24th, when walking into a church to speak on a panel concerning election integrity, Cain was served with 13 lawsuits. The plaintiffs of these lawsuits include the Lilith Fund, the Frontera Fund, the West Fund, Clinic Access Support Network, Fund Texas Choice, North Texas Equal Access Fund, Bridge Collective, The Afiya Center, Allison Van Stein and Michelle Tuegel (two abortion rights attorneys), Dr. Ghazaleh Moayedi (an abortionist), Monica Faulkner (a social worker) and a Jane Doe. Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas has also intervened in the cases.
These lawsuits ended up in seven different courts; yet, six out of the seven judges are Democrats who are likely to side with the interests of the abortion industry. Several of the judges also have a history of pro-abortion rulings under their belt, including Judge Karin Crump who had issued an order temporarily enjoining a pro-life group from enforcing the Heartbeat Bill in September.
While Cain expects his legal battles over the Heartbeat Bill to be arduous, he was actually excited when he was served. “When you take flack like that,” Cain told SFLA, “it means you hit the target.” With thirteen lawsuits aimed at him, he certainly hit a bullseye with the Texas Heartbeat Bill. Cain continued with encouragement for the youth who are watching him be bullied by the abortion industry:
“All SFLA students and young pro-lifers must remain steadfast and devoted to the cause. Take challenges as progress, and don’t stop fighting even after you leave your student organizations. This is a fight which needs to be fought until it’s won.”
Cain’s positive outlook on these lawsuits speaks highly of his dedication and true understanding of the Pro-life movement. Too many politicians are complacent in their positions, preferring to sail the calm waters of neutrality instead of weathering the storm as they take a stand.
However, the abortion issue has no neutral position. Either one fights for the lives of the preborn or they sit silent, watching others kill the vulnerable. Saying nothing about an injustice merely allows it to continue and is a condemnable case of inaction. Those in political power who could make a change but remain indifferent for the sake of personal comfort are better known by the name of coward.
Cain is committed to the high road. As he faces these 13 different lawsuits against him, he needs support from the pro-life community in order to continue in his work and win these battles.
But the best support Cain can get is prayers for the judges and contributions to his legal defense fund. Briscoe Cain is fighting a battle for the preborn that is resulting in actual lives rescued from abortion violence, serving as a reminder that engaging in the pro-life movement in college is so much more than an extracurricular; it can be a crucial formation for the actions that will shape one’s whole career and adult life.
Kristan Hawkins is president of Students for Life of America, with more than 1,225 chapters on college and high school campuses in all 50 states. Follow her @KristanHawkins or subscribe to her podcast, Explicitly Pro-Life.