A Texas doctor who says he intentionally violated a new law that bans most abortions was sued twice this week.
Texas Senate Bill 8, which took effect on Sept. 1, bars doctors from performing abortions without first trying to detect a fetal heartbeat. If a heartbeat is detected, it prohibits abortions unless the doctor finds a medical emergency exists.
Dr. Alan Braid, who operates in several cities in Texas, wrote in an op-ed over the weekend that he provided an abortion that violated the state law because the fetus was old enough to have a heartbeat.
“I acted because I had a duty of care to this patient, as I do for all patients, and because she has a fundamental right to receive this care,” he wrote. “I fully understood that there could be legal consequences—but I wanted to make sure that Texas didn’t get away with its bid to prevent this blatantly unconstitutional law from being tested.”
That admission, which appeared to be the first of its kind, triggered two suits, both filed in Bexar County.
Neither of the men who filed the suits live in Texas. Oscar Stilley lives in Arkansas. Felipe Gomez resides in Illinois. Both are pro-choice. Both oppose the new Texas law. And both hope their suits undercut it.
“It’s going to get matted down in about a week,” Stilley, who describes himself as a libertarian, told The Epoch Times.
The disbarred lawyer, who is currently on home confinement for a tax evasion charge, is seeking $100,000 in his suit, which notes that Braid acknowledged violating Senate Bill 8.
Gomez, another disbarred lawyer, believes the law is an example of “government overreach and unfair, illegal regulations.”
The measure does not let state officials to enforce it. Instead, it allows private citizens to bring suits against doctors who allegedly perform illegal abortions or other individuals who allegedly aid and abet them.
Gomez wants to reach a settlement with Braid in which he and the doctor agree that Braid did nothing wrong. If such a settlement were approved, it would prevent others from suing the doctor, said Gomez, who says he’s an old school Democrat.
Gomez worries that if Senate Bill 8 is not struck down, it will lead to Democrats passing laws that enable forced vaccination.
The Department of Justice and a group of abortion providers are engaged in separate legal battles over the law. Courts declined to block the law in either case but have yet to ultimately decide whether the law is constitutional. Opponents argue it violates precedent set with the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.
Braid’s office directed The Epoch Times to the Center for Reproductive Rights, which has been representing abortion providers, including Braid, in their suit against the state. The center did not return a request for comment.
Texas Right to Life, a pro-life group that advocated for the law, said the new suits “are self-serving legal stunts, abusing the cause of action created in the Texas Heartbeat Act for their own purposes.”
“Neither of these lawsuits are valid attempts to save innocent human lives,” the group said in a statement.
Stilley said he tried reaching out to Texas Right to Life and would incorporate any arguments against the law they think should be used.