Two disbarred attorneys have filed lawsuits against a Texas abortionist claiming to have violated Texas’ abortion ban.
Plaintiffs Felip Gomez and Oscar Stilley filed respective lawsuits against Alan Braid, the author of a Washington Post op-ed titled, “I violated Texas’s abortion ban. Here’s why.”
“Neither of these lawsuits are valid attempts to save innocent human lives,” Texas Right to Life said in a press release. “Both cases are self-serving legal stunts, abusing the cause of action created in the Texas Heartbeat Act for their own purposes.”
The pro-life Texas group said that it believes Braid published his op-ed intending to draw “imprudent lawsuits.”
“Texas Right to Life is dubious that Braid’s op-ed is purely a legal and publicity ploy,” Texas Right to Life continued. “The abortion industry’s 16 previous efforts failed to stop this law from saving lives so far, and this may be another attempt. However, there is a four-year statute of limitations for any violations, and Texas Right to Life is dedicated to ensuring that the Texas Heartbeat Act is fully enforced.”
The Heartbeat Act has particularly upset abortion advocates as it allows “any person” to sue doctors, abortion clinics, or anyone who “knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion.”
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Those who sue over an abortion may be awarded $10,000 “for each abortion” the defendant performed, induced, aided, or abetted in violation of the law.
Stilley’s complaint describes him as a “disbarred and disgraced former Arkansas lawyer” currently on home confinement for tax evasion and conspiracy — charges he calls “fraudulent.”
Stilley, who requested the court to order Braid to pay him $100,000 but no less than the statutory minimum of $10,000, told the New York Times that he filed the lawsuit to test the new law’s provisions.
“I’m not pro-life,” 58-year-old Stilley told the Times. “The thing that I’m trying to vindicate here is the law. We pride ourselves on being a nation of laws. What’s the law?”
Former attorney Gomez, who additionally sued Braid, was also disbarred and suspended indefinitely after fellow attorneys accused Gomez of sending threatening emails, according to the local outlet KSAT.com.
Gomez identified himself as a “pro choice plaintiff” and Illinois resident, according to the publication. His court filing asks the judge to order that Texas’ Heartbeat Act violates Roe v. Wade.
“For me, it is 1972 all over again,” wrote abortionist Braid in his WaPo piece. “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 added that he fully understood the possibility of legal consequences but wanted to make sure “Texas didn’t get away with its bid to prevent this blatantly unconstitutional law from being tested.”
“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,” he added. “Represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights, my clinics are among the plaintiffs in an ongoing federal lawsuit to stop S.B. 8.”
The Center for Reproductive Rights did not immediately respond to a request for comment about whether it is representing or offering legal advice to Braid.