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Lawsuits against doctor to test constitutionality of Texas abortion law By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO : A pro-abortion sign is held by a demonstrator as she listens in to the speakers outside the U.S. Supreme Court, Washington. This was September 15, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

By Julia Harte

(Reuters) – A San Antonio physician who announced he gave an abortion to a woman in defiance of a new Texas law was sued in Texas state court on Monday by two plaintiffs from other states who want to test the law’s constitutionality.

Alan Braid claimed in an opinion article published by The Washington Post that he violated a Texas law prohibiting abortions past the point when rhythmic contracting can be detected in fetal tissue. Citizens can enforce the ban, and they will be paid their costs and rewarded with at least $10,000 for suing anyone who provided such an abortion.

The state will pay the cost of the testing law in the Monday cases. Oscar Stilley was one of the plaintiffs that sued Braid. Stilley said Monday in a telephone call to Reuters that he disagrees with the Texas law. Stilley also wanted to be the person who forced a court into determining its legality.

Stilley claimed that Texas’ new abortion restrictions are in violation of women’s constitutional right to choose their own reproductive options.

Stilley said that “I believe it’s between her and her physician” when asked about his support for women being able to have abortion access.

Stilley is a disbarred attorney currently in home confinement, serving the 12th of his 15-year sentence for tax fraud and conspiracy.

Felipe Gomez from Illinois was the other plaintiff. He claimed that the Act, as written, is unlawful and has been applied in this case. Gomez didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Monday’s lawsuits have been the best test yet of Texas’s legality for abortion. This law is considered one of the most restrictive in the country. The U.S. Justice Department and abortion rights organizations sued Texas in federal court over the law, claiming that it violates women’s constitutional right of abortion prior to the foetus becomes viable.

Braid’s San Antonio office referred comments to the Center for Reproductive Rights. The Center has promised to represent Braid in any legal proceedings.

Marc Hearron from the Center, its senior counsel, responded that it was possible to sue anyone who assists or encourages abortions outside the limits of the law. The statement stated that “We’re starting to see this happen,” and also included out-of state claimants.

Texas Right to Life (a state-based anti-abortion organization) did not respond to a request for comment.

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