SAN ANTONIO (KXAN) — The Texas doctor who said he performed an abortion to challenge the state’s new restrictions has received the challenge he’d hoped for — a civil lawsuit has been filed against the San Antonio-based physician.
The Washington Post reports Dr. Alan Braid faces a lawsuit after admitting he’d performed an abortion on a woman in violation of Texas’ recently adopted abortion laws, which bans abortion once medical professionals can detect cardiac activity, usually around six weeks into a pregnancy. Texas’ Senate Bill 8 has been widely condemned by opponents, who say six weeks is so early into a pregnancy many people may not even realize they’re pregnant.
The narrow window has been viewed by many, including Braid, as an abortion ban in disguise.
In a Saturday opinion piece that appeared in The Washington Post, “Why I violated Texas’ extreme abortion ban,” Braid revealed the abortion was provided while the patient was in her first trimester but after six weeks had passed — purposely violating SB 8.
Braid 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.”
The man who filed the lawsuit is an Arkansas resident and former lawyer Oscar Stilley, the Washington Post reports. Stilley said he filed the lawsuit because he believes SB 8 — which allows individuals to sue those who aid in abortions for at least $10,000 — should face legal critique.
“If the state of Texas decided it’s going to give a $10,000 bounty, why shouldn’t I get that 10,000 bounty?” Stilley asked the post. He filed the lawsuit in Bexar County, Texas.
Stilley is currently serving a 15-year home confinement sentence after a tax fraud conviction, the Washington Post reports.
SB 8 has faced national and international criticism, with President Joe Biden calling it “unconstitutional chaos,” and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland promising the U.S. Department of Justice would protect those seeking abortions while it urgently works to protect access to abortion.
The bill even made it up to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ultimately let the law stand. Stilley’s lawsuit marks a new beginning in legal challenges to SB 8.