The Washington Examiner reports that a lawsuit has been brought against Alan Braid, the Texas doctor who intentionally violated the state’s newest anti-abortion law.
Details about the lawsuit are sparse. We do know, however, that it is a civil lawsuit for at least $10,000.
“I had a duty of care”
Braid, a San Antonio-based OB-GYN, admitted to breaking the Texas Heartbeat Act last week. He did so on September 6th by performing an abortion on a woman who was in the first trimester of her pregnancy.
Braid explained why he broke the law in an opinion piece that he recently wrote for the Washington Post. Braid, for one, said that he intentionally violated the law in order to test its legality.
“I wanted to make sure that Texas didn’t get away with its bid to prevent this blatantly unconstitutional law from being tested,” Braid said, adding that he was fully aware of the potential consequences of doing so.
Braid, however, also said that he broke that law because he felt that he had “duty of care to this patient,” whom Braid claimed had “a fundamental right to receive this care.”
After surviving some preliminary legal challenges, the Texas Heartbeat Act went into effect on September 1st, about five days before Braid violated it.
What the law does is make it illegal for an abortion to be performed after a heartbeat can be detected, which is typically around the six-week mark of a pregnancy. This is the strongest restriction that has been placed on Roe v. Wade since that case was decided back in the 1970s.
Other heartbeat-type laws have been tried by various states, but they all have failed to legal challenges. Something that makes Texas’s version unique is that it is enforced by private citizens who are allowed to sue anyone who aids and abets in such an abortion for a minimum of $10,000.
President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice (DOJ) is still trying, through the courts, to temporarily stop Texas from enforcing this law. Similar lawsuits by abortion advocates have failed, including at the U.S. Supreme Court level.
But, now, with the lawsuit filed against Braid, we will get to see the first test of the law’s Constitutionality.
If the lawsuit is successful, it could significantly undermine Roe v. Wade.