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The First Plaintiffs to Sue Under the Texas Abortion Ban Are as Ridiculous as the Ban Itself

2 9 17

The Washington Post published an op-ed over the weekend by Alan Braid, a Texas doctor who said that he had performed an abortion earlier this month in violation of a state law that effectively banned the procedure after six weeks. Braid explained that he began practicing medicine one year before the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, a span in which he said he saw three teenagers die from illegal abortions, and that he could not stand by as the ruling was all but overturned in Texas through the high court’s inaction.

“For me, it is 1972 all over again,” he said. “And that is why, 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. 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.” Braid said that he “fully understood that there could be legal consequences,” but added that he “wanted to make sure that Texas didn’t get away with its bid to prevent this blatantly unconstitutional law from being tested.”

Legal consequences soon followed. At least two plaintiffs filed lawsuits against Braid in state court in San Antonio the next day, both invoking S.B. 8. Neither of the claimants are Texans. One described himself as a “disbarred and disgraced former Arkansas lawyer” who is currently serving a 15-year prison sentence for tax evasion. The other is currently suspended from practicing law in Illinois for allegedly sending threatening emails to other lawyers. Both of them highlight the absurdity of Texas’s M.C. Escher-esque gambit to overturn Roe v. Wade through bounty hunting and procedural trickery.

One of the lawsuits against Braid came from Felipe Gomez, a lawyer from Illinois who described himself in the court filing as a “pro-choice plaintiff.” The complaint is only four paragraphs long; two of them ask the state court to strike down S.B. 8 and none of them ask for the $10,000 or more in damages that the law would allow him to seek. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Monday, Gomez explained that he was “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........

© New Republic

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