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Texas doctor who performed abortion is sued in test of new law

  • September 20, 2021

AUSTIN, TX – SEPT 1: Pro-choice protesters march outside the Texas State Capitol on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021 in Austin, TX. Texas passed SB8 which effectively bans nearly all abortions and it went into effect Sept. 1. A request to the Supreme Court to block the bill went unanswered and the Court still has yet to take any action on it. (Sergio Flores For The Washington Post via Getty Images) (Sergio Flores For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

A Texas doctor who publicly said he performed an abortion was sued Monday in state court by two different plaintiffs, handing Texas the first tests of its new abortion law.

The Texas law bans abortions after about six weeks of gestation when a fetal heartbeat can be detected, and it deputizes private citizens to sue anyone they believe may have aided such a procedure and collect $10,000. It went into effect Sept. 1.

Alan Braid, a San Antonio physician, said in a Washington Post opinion essay Saturday that he had performed an abortion in defiance of the law earlier this month.


A former Arkansas lawyer, Oscar Stilley, who said he is on home confinement serving time after a tax-fraud conviction, filed a civil complaint against the doctor Monday in Bexar County District Court. He said he decided to sue the doctor after he read about the case early Monday morning and wanted to test the Texas law.

“The doctor is going to get sued,” Mr. Stilley said. “Someone is going to get $10,000 off him. If that’s the law, I may as well get the money. If it’s not the law, let’s go to court and get it sorted out.”

Mr. Stilley said he is neither antiabortion nor in favor of abortion rights, and not affiliated with any abortion-related political groups.

In a separate lawsuit, Felipe N. Gomez, an Illinois resident who is described in his filing as a “pro-choice plaintiff” filed a complaint Monday morning in Bexar County. While the complaint is against Dr. Braid, it says Mr. Gomez believes the Texas law to be illegal and asks a court to strike it down. He said that he wasn’t interested in collecting any money.


“I’m against having someone tell me I have to get a shot or wear a mask and the same people who agree with me on that—the GOP—tell people what they can do with their bodies on the other hand,” Mr. Gomez said. “It’s inconsistent.”

Dr. Braid couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. He said in his essay that he understood he could face legal consequences for the abortion he performed. “I wanted to make sure that Texas didn’t get away with its bid to prevent this blatantly unconstitutional law from being tested,” he wrote.

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