Alan Braid, a Texas abortionist who admitted that he violated the state’s new law banning most abortions after six weeks gestation, was sued Monday by two disbarred pro-choice attorneys from Illinois and Arkansas who are both seeking to test the validity of the law many legal experts have called unconstitutional.
"I know what the proponents of this law are doing," disbarred Arkansas attorney Oscar Stilley, 58, told The Daily Beast about his decision to sue Braid. "They're trying to inject uncertainty so that the doctors are going to say, 'Oh, my goodness, this could bankrupt me.'"
Braid, who began his career as an obstetrician and gynecologist before the U.S. Supreme Court made abortion legal nationwide in Roe v. Wade in 1973, announced Saturday that he violated Texas’ new abortion law known as Senate Bill 8 just days after it became effective on Sept. 1.
Along with prohibiting abortions once a baby's heartbeat can be detected, SB 8 also allows individuals to take civil action against anyone who “performs and induces an abortion” or “knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion, including paying for or reimbursing the costs of abortion through insurance or otherwise.”
In an op-ed for The Washington Post, Braid said he violated the controversial abortion law because he had “a duty of care” to his patient who “has a fundamental right to receive this care."
“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 complaint against Braid, Stilley is suing for “the sum of $100,000, but in no case less than the statutory minimum of $10,000; for an injunction prohibiting Defendant from performing any more abortions contrary to the terms of Senate Bill 8.”
He also suggests that Braid believes God wouldn’t object to all abortions.
“On information and belief, Defendant is thoroughly convinced that his acts, which form the basis for this lawsuit, contribute mightily to human happiness and the advancement of human society. On information and belief, Defendant believes that his Elohim (‘mighty ones,’ AKA ‘God’ is entirely capable of giving a new body to replace a defective fetus, in the here and now, and not only ‘when you die bye and bye,’” he wrote. “On information and belief, Defendant believes that his Elohim (‘mighty ones,’ AKA ‘God’ is not offended because he aborts a defective fetus, at the request of the pregnant woman.”
Bexar County court records obtained by KSAT 12 in Illinois noted that Braid was also sued on Monday by Felipe N. Gomez, whose license to practice law in Illinois was suspended indefinitely on April 8 after he was accused of sending threatening and harassing emails to other attorneys.
He is not seeking monetary relief from the court but has asked the court to declare the Texas abortion law unconstitutional and a violation of Roe v. Wade.
“It is settled constitutional law that ‘a state may not prohibit any woman from making the ultimate decision to terminate her pregnancy before viability, but Texas has done just that,’” the department said in their lawsuit.