'Essentially invited by this doctor': Here’s the strategy behind two lawsuits filed against one Texas abortion provider
One Texas doctor is garnering national attention after performing an illegal abortion in the state of Texas, and subsequently challenging the state's new controversial abortion law. To draw attention to his action, San Antonio, Texas abortion provider Dr. Allen Braid penned an op-ed published by The Washington Post to share details about the abortion he recently performed.
A fetal heartbeat was reportedly detected prior to the abortion being performed, which violates the state's new anti-abortion law. Shortly after Braid went public, he was hit with two lawsuits which now opens the door for the premise of the law to be challenged.
A CNN segment featuring Jessica Schneider, one of the network's justice correspondents, dives into the ins and outs of the lawsuits. Schneider explains:
"The problem here is that this law only gives private citizens the power to enforce it. Anyone from anywhere in the country can sue anyone who assists in performing an abortion when the pregnancy is beyond six weeks. So to challenge the premise of the Texas law, you first need a lawsuit and now we have two of them."
The first lawsuit was filed in Bexar County, Texas by Oscar Stilley, a former tax attorney who was convicted of federal tax evasion back in 2009. Stilley has made it clear that he is "a supporter of the Constitution" and is "opposed to the law."
The second lawsuit was filed in Bexar County by an Illinois resident named Felipe Gomez who argues that the Texas law is "'illegal as written' until Roe v. Wade is reversed or modified."
Schneider went on to explain why these two lawsuits are so critical. They could set the stage for the legal battle to have the law overturned.
"Now, these lawsuits will soon begin to work their way through the courts, and at that point, that's when judges may finally be able to stop this law if they find, for example, the lawsuits are properly filed which could be a question since both of these plaintiffs admit they are only suing to stop the law. And, if the judge is determined that this Texas law in fact violates the precedent that was set under Roe v. Wade from the Supreme court that established women have this constitutional right to an abortion prior to viability which is typically between 22 and 24 weeks," she said.
Schneider added, "So, Kate, these two lawsuits that were essentially invited by this doctor, it now sets the stage for these courts to decide if this law is, in fact, unconstitutional, something that we've been waiting for essentially for three weeks since this law was put into place September 1st."
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