A San Antonio doctor who admitted defying Texas’ new abortion law by performing the procedure on a woman who was more than six weeks pregnant may have to defend his decision in court.
Dr. Alan Braid wrote an essay published Saturday in The Washington Post in which he said he’d performed the abortion on the woman earlier this month, despite the state law that now bans abortion after the sixth week of pregnancy.
The doctor’s goal, besides a “duty of care” to his patient, was to “make sure that Texas didn’t get away with its bid to prevent this blatantly unconstitutional law from being tested,” he wrote in an essay published Saturday in The Washington Post.
Now it looks like Braid will get to say more: An Arkansas man filed a lawsuit against him on Monday, according to The Washington Post.
Oscar Stilley, a former lawyer convicted of tax fraud in 2010 and serving a 15-year sentence on home confinement, told the paper that, though he is not personally opposed to abortion, he thinks the measure should be subject to judicial review.
“If the law is no good, why should we have to go through a long, drawn-out process to find out if it’s garbage?” Stilley told the Post after filing the complaint in state court in Bexar County, where San Antonio is located.
The new law skirts judicial scrutiny by letting people file civil lawsuits against abortion practitioners and anyone who “aids” in an illegal abortion. Plaintiffs who win in court can receive bounties of at least $10,000, and Stilley admits he wouldn’t mind the cash.
“If the state of Texas decided it’s going to give a $10,000 bounty, why shouldn’t I get that 10,000 bounty?” he said.
Braid hasn’t commented on the suit, but Marc Hearron of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which represents Braid’s clinics, told the Post the suit suggests that there will be more.
“S.B. 8 says that ‘any person’ can sue over a violation, and we are starting to see that happen, including by out-of-state claimants,” Hearron said.
The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit earlier this month against Texas, arguing that the new law violates the U.S. Constitution.
The announcement of the lawsuit comes on the same day the Supreme Court announced that in December it will hear oral arguments in a Mississippi that is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that protects a woman’s right to access abortion without excessive government restriction.
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