A Texas doctor who bragged about violating the Texas “heartbeat” law to ban abortions once the heartbeat of a baby is detected is now being sued for his publicity stunt.
The Texas law is not enforced by the state but allows private citizens to sue anyone who violates the law.
Dr. Alan Braid, who practices obstetrics and gynecology in San Antonio, wrote an Op-Ed published in The Washington Post on Saturday saying that “on the morning of September 6, I provided an abortion to a woman who, though still in her first trimester, was beyond the state’s new limit. 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.”
As a result, two lawsuits have been filed, according to CBS News.
“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,” Braid wrote in his Op-Ed.
Testing the law also appeared to be the intent of Oscar Stilley of Arkansas, who filed suit against Braid.
“On information and belief, Defendant has allowed his own personal ideology to cause him to violate the express provisions of Senate Bill 8, despite the potential consequences,” Stilley’s lawsuit said.
He told CBS News that his lawsuit is an effort to have the law reviewed by the courts.
“Let’s get a decision, and let’s not leave this floating out in never-never land so people don’t know what the law is,” Stilley said.
Efforts by pro-abortion groups to block the law failed after the U.S. Supreme Court allowed it to take effect on Sept. 1 while legal challenges, including those from the Biden administration, work through the court system.
Felipe Gomez of Chicago has also filed a lawsuit against Braid, CBS News reported.
He also indicated he wanted to have the law reviewed by the court system, describing himself as “pro-choice.”
Kimberlyn Schwartz, a spokeswoman for Texas Right to Life, called the lawsuits “self-serving legal stunts” and said Stilley and Gomez are “abusing the cause of action created in the Texas Heartbeat Act for their own purposes,” according to the Austin American-Statesman.
“Neither of these lawsuits are valid attempts to save innocent human lives,” said John Seago, legislative director for Texas Right to Life, according to The New York Times.
He added that he and others at Texas Right to Life “believe Braid published his Op-Ed intending to attract imprudent lawsuits.”
Stilley said the law’s stipulation that those found guilty of violating it have to pay out $10,000 to the one suing them was attractive to him.
“If this is a free-for-all, and it’s $10,000, I want my $10,000. And yes, I do aim to collect,” he said.