Texas Doctor Who Admits Violating State’s Near-Total Abortion Ban Sued Under New Law – Houston Public Media
A Texas doctor is sued for illegally performing an abortion under new Texas law that nearly bans the procedure.
Dr. Alan Braid, a San Antonio gynecologist, admitted in a Washington Post column published Saturday that he had performed a prohibited abortion earlier this month, motivated by “due diligence.” While “there might be legal ramifications,” he said, “he wanted to make sure Texas couldn’t get away with trying to test this blatantly unconstitutional law.” No further lawsuits were publicly announced, although it is unclear whether another lawsuit could have been filed as one lawsuit could appear in court anywhere in the state.
The plaintiff in the lawsuit filed against Braid on Monday is Oscar Stilley, according to a copy of the lawsuit he posted online. Bexar County’s court records indicate that he filed a lawsuit against Braid on Monday, but county officials did not provide a copy of the lawsuit online. The Bexar District Secretariat office did not respond to a call. In the copy of the lawsuit that he published, Stilley described himself as a “former Arkansas attorney who has been disfellowshipped and disgraced.” Stilley, who was convicted of tax fraud in 2010, is suing Braid for $ 100,000.
Stilley said he was not personally against abortion and believed the law should be judicially reviewed, according to the Washington Post.
“If the law isn’t good, why should we have to go through a long, drawn-out process to find out if it’s rubbish?” Stilley said the post. “If the state of Texas decided to pay a $ 10,000 bounty, why shouldn’t I get that $ 10,000 bounty?”
Many legal experts have said they are waiting to see how a lawsuit could review the law in court.
“I understand that I am taking a personal risk if I attempt an abortion beyond the new legal limit, but I firmly believe in it,” Braid wrote in The Post column. “I have daughters, granddaughters, and nieces. I believe abortion is an integral part of health care. … I can’t just sit back and watch us go back to 1972.”
The near-total abortion ban in Texas depends on individuals – not state officials or law enforcement – to enforce it. This has so far enabled the law to set the precedents of Roe v. Wade and subsequent court rulings as there is no clear defendant in court proceedings to name.
The Supreme Court has not yet ruled on the constitutionality of the law, but has allowed the ban to remain in place, citing procedural difficulties. A hearing on a federal lawsuit aimed at blocking enforcement of the ban is scheduled for October 1.
The lawsuit allows anyone in the country to sue people who “help and support” someone who has an abortion performed as soon as fetal heart activity is detected – which can occur after as little as six weeks. The plaintiff would receive at least $ 10,000 if they won the case, but even if it were dismissed, the law prevents defendants from getting their legal fees back from the person who filed the lawsuit – thereby putting the plaintiff at risk is minimized.
Meanwhile, the law has stopped most abortions in the state, with large clinics canceling appointments or even suspending all abortions – including those allowed by law – for fear of legal proceedings.
The Texas Tribune is a non-partisan, nonprofit media organization that educates and engages Texans about public order, politics, government, and statewide issues.
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