The brave doctor who performed an abortion in Texas is being sued by a disbarred lawyer serving jail time
This past weekend, San Antonio OB/GYN Dr. Alan Braid wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post admitting that he violated the newly instated Texas abortion law, a.k.a SB8, saying that he "acted out of duty of care to my patient, as I do for all patients, and because she has a fundamental right to to receive this care."
It's already bogus that the new state ban allows a mere six weeks for a woman to terminate her pregnancy. But let's put aside the whole human rights aspect for a moment. After all, Texas certainly has. What's even more ridiculous, and a legal logistical nightmare to boot, is that under this new law, any person (yes, even those not in any way affected by or connected to the abortion itself), can file a lawsuit and potentially "earn" up to $10,000. Meanwhile the provider-slash-defendant will have to shell out court costs, and receive no compensation, even if they win the case.
So...it's no wonder that the not so virtuous vultures started hovering immediately after Dr. Braid's article.
Just yesterday, NBC News reported that former lawyer Oscar Stilley, who is currently finishing out a sentence for fraud AND tax evasion in home confinement, filed a lawsuit against Braid. Not for the minimum $10,000 either, but for a whopping $100,000.
An Arkansas man has sued a Texas abortion provider in what is believed to be the first lawsuit filed since the stat… https://t.co/iCc4ZscbwG— NBC News (@NBC News) 1632178926.0
A disbarred Arkansas lawyer & tax cheat has filed the 1st private enforcement case in Texas against a doctor who pe… https://t.co/iFPYppbCol— Joyce Alene (@Joyce Alene) 1632178588.0
Dr. Braid is currently being sued by someone out of state, from home imprisonment, who's a convicted felon...yet we're to believe Braid is the bad guy here?
Mind you, this disbarred lawyer isn't even morally opposed to the Texas ban. He told CNN in a phone interview, "I am a supporter of the Constitution, and I am opposed to the law." He even went on to praise Dr. Baird, saying, "I think the doctor has guts and he has principle," and then reveals the true reasons for filing, saying "I decided that I would be the one to get some clarity on this law." The Hill quoted him in an interview with the Washington Post expanding upon this. The self described "Pro-choice Plaintiff" asked, "if the law is no good, why should we have to go through a long, drawn-out process to find out if it's garbage?"
Thank you for your courage, Dr. Alan Braid. “I understand that by providing an abortion beyond the new legal limit… https://t.co/cXTUn0Ei39— Renee Bracey Sherman (@Renee Bracey Sherman) 1631997287.0
So hey, maybe this whole thing is Stilley's version of a self-serving legal stunt, or maybe Stilley is something of a devil's advocate here. Considering that in the same interview he also said, "If the state of Texas decided it's going to give a $10,000 bounty, why shouldn't I get that 10,000 bounty?," I tend to think the former. But if it's the latter, I will be sending a thank-you note to Stilley's living room jail cell myself.
This news does raise concern, considering that there is no limit to the amount of copy cat cases that could follow after Stilley.
CNN legal analyst Steve Vladeck states, "nothing that happens in this case can prevent future lawsuits from being brought -- that's the whole point of transferring enforcement authority from a single state to a limitless class of potential private plaintiffs." Texas attorney Adriana Piñon also told CNN, "The way the bill is structured incentivizes vigilante lawsuits that will harass abortion providers and those who support providing abortions in Texas."
With abortion providers already turning patients away, and lawsuits like Stilly's beginning to take place, it might feel like defeat. But the good news is that at the very least, Stilley's case might instigate a second thought about the validity of letting anyone file a lawsuit against providers. Do we really want to clog up an already congested courts system with wannabe bounty hunters? Or worse, people who just want to make a (not so) quick buck?
And luckily, Dr. Braid is not fighting this battle alone.
Upon news of the lawsuit, The Center for Reproductive Rights, issued a pledge of defense, it's CEO stating "Dr. Braid has courageously stood up against this blatantly unconstitutional law. We stand ready to defend him against the vigilante lawsuits that S.B. 8 threatens to unleash against those providing or supporting access to constitutionally protected abortion care."
The statement goes on to say "For more than two weeks this unconscionable law has been in effect, harming numerous Texans, and falling hardest on those struggling to make ends meet and people of color, who already face barriers to health care. It's past time for a court to step in and block it."
Abortion is essential. Abortion is health care. Abortion is a human right. We stand with you Texas. ❤️ https://t.co/yCwo4DW7w8— Center for Reproductive Rights (@Center for Reproductive Rights) 1630595763.0
And let's not forget the Tik tok activists who flooded the "Pro Life Whistleblower" website with false reports, a brilliant idea created by Sean Black, otherwise known as@black_madness21.
@black_madness21 ##stitch with @victoriahammett I'll see if I can add some multithreading to speed up this process
♬ original sound - Sean Black
This could all aid The Department of Justice in its effort to sue the state of Texas, one argument being that "those precedents hold, in the words of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, that 'regardless of whether exceptions are made for particular circumstances, a state may not prohibit any woman from making the ultimate decision to terminate her pregnancy before viability.' "
Statement from Attorney General Merrick B. Garland https://t.co/r2LrUTGvD1— Anthony Coley (@Anthony Coley) 1630598895.0
Amidst the fear, emotional turbulence, and a blatant disregard for constitutional rights, one thing remains true: individual acts of integrity collectively create lasting change. This fight is far from over.
I think that the efforts made by Dr. Braid are not only commendable, but will ultimately be effective. As a woman, a proponent for reproductive rights, and a former Texan who has benefited from abortion, I commend Dr. Baird on his bravery (apparently the plaintiff does too). I hope it serves as a catalyst to stop this utterly unfounded and downright barbaric backtracking that Braid himself described as "1972 all over again".
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