Daily US Times: A doctor who admitted to breaking the new abortion law in Texas has been sued, in what could be a test of how lawful the mandate is.
Doctor Alan Braid, who has been practising medicine for nearly 50 years, said in his writing for the Washington Post that he had carried out a termination on a woman who was in the early stages of her pregnancy but “beyond the state’s new limit”.
Former lawyers in Illinois and Arkansas filed lawsuits against him on Monday.
The new law in Texas bans abortions from as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.
The highly controversial law came into effect on 1 September. The law allows any person – from Texas or elsewhere – the right to sue doctors who perform an abortion past the six-week point.
However, the Texas legislation does not allow the women who get the procedure to be sued.
The legislation bans abortions after the detection of what anti-abortion campaigners call a foetal heartbeat, something doctors and experts say is misleading.
“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,” the doctor wrote in an opinion column published on the weekend.
He wrote: “I fully understood that there could be legal consequences – but I wanted to make sure that Texas didn’t get away with its bid to prevent this blatantly unconstitutional law from being tested.”
Oscar Stilley, a former lawyer in Arkansas said he had decided to file the lawsuit after reading Dr Braid’s opinion piece. The lawyer is serving a 15-year federal conviction for tax fraud in home confinement. Mr Stilley said he wasn’t opposed to abortion but sued to force a court to test the legality of the new legislation.