Texas abortion opponents are furious someone is taking advantage of their bounty hunter law
A Texas doctor is being sued under the state's new abortion vigilante law, and the anti-abortion groups that pushed the law are not happy about it.
"On the morning of Sept. 6, I provided an abortion to a woman who, though still in her first trimester, was beyond the state's new limit," Dr. Alan Braid wrote in The Washington Post on Saturday. "I acted because I had a duty of care to this patient, as I do for all patients, and because she has a fundamental right to receive this care."
"I fully understood that there could be legal consequences," Braid continued, "but I wanted to make sure that Texas didn't get away with its bid to prevent this blatantly unconstitutional law from being tested."
Men in Arkansas and Illinois quickly filed lawsuits against Braid under the new Texas law, which allows anyone, anywhere, to go after anyone who "aids or abets" a woman getting an abortion. Felipe Gomez of Illinois filed his suit as a "Pro-Choice plaintiff" seeking to get the law declared unconstitutional. Oscar Stilley, who describes himself in his complaint as a "disbarred and disgraced former Arkansas lawyer" on home confinement for "utterly fraudulent federal charges," wants that $10,000.
"If this is a free-for-all, and it's $10,000, I want my $10,000," he told The New York Times. "And yes, I do aim to collect."
This is just a tiny fraction of the circus Texas Republicans invited with this law, but they're somehow surprised and unhappy about it.
According to the legislative director of Texas Right to Life, which lobbied for the bounty hunter law, "Neither of these lawsuits are valid attempts to save innocent human lives." You don't say! Instead, he continued, "Both cases are self-serving legal stunts, abusing the cause of action created in the Texas Heartbeat Act for their own purposes."
As the law you promoted invites. This was 100% predictable, baked into the very design of the Texas abortion ban. Anyone claiming to be surprised at the quality of the initial efforts to collect the $10,000 bounty is mind-bendingly stupid, or they're lying.
The geniuses over at Texas Right to Life also "believe Braid published his Op-Ed intending to attract imprudent lawsuits." Again: You don't say! What tipped them off? Was it the part where he said in a major newspaper that he had broken a law that requires someone harmed by it to challenge its constitutionality in court? In the same op-ed, he wrote, "I understand that by providing an abortion beyond the new legal limit, I am taking a personal risk, but it's something I believe in strongly. Represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights, my clinics are among the plaintiffs in an ongoing federal lawsuit to stop S.B. 8."
Braid concluded his op-ed, "I believe abortion is an essential part of health care. I have spent the past 50 years treating and helping patients. I can't just sit back and watch us return to 1972." With that, and with the inevitable suits against him as a result, the battle against the Texas law enters a new phase.
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