A disbarred Arkansas lawyer sued a Texas doctor who said he performed an abortion that violated Texas' 6-week abortion ban, saying he hoped to test the constitutionality of the law. File Photo by Pat Benic/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 20 (UPI) -- An Arkansas man on Monday sued a Texas doctor who admitted to violating a Texas law barring most abortions.
In the lawsuit filed in Bexar County District Court, Oscar Stilley, a disbarred lawyer who was convicted of fraud in 2010, stated that Dr. Alan Braid performed an abortion on a woman who was more than six weeks pregnant in violation of the law.
Braid published an op-ed in The Washington Post last week stating that he provided an abortion to a woman who was in the early stages of pregnancy but beyond the limit outlined by the law, stating she "has a fundamental right" to receive the care.
"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," wrote Braid.
Stilley told the Austin American-Statesman that he saw Braid's story and decided to file a lawsuit with the hopes of seeing if the Texas law could stand up to legal scrutiny.
"He's obviously a man of principle and courage and it just made me mad to see the trick bag they put him in and I just decided: I'm going to file a lawsuit. We're going to get an answer, I want to see what the law is," Stilley said.
The lawsuit also notes that "any person, other than an officer or employee of a state or local government entity" in Texas can bring a lawsuit under the law.
Stilley said the provision means the law would allow him to bring the suit despite being held in home confinement and living outside of the state, adding that a successful lawsuit could also result in an award for at least $10,000 for the plaintiff in court.
"It kind of looks like I have nothing to do with it, but they said I can have a chance and I can go in there and I can sue and collect $10,000 for it," he said. "Well that's the law and I want that $10,000 and I intend to be the fastest gun in the West."
The law was passed in May and took effect in September as the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision allowed the law to move ahead while legal challenges continued in lower courts.
The Justice Department sued Texas this month, arguing that the law, known as Senate Bill 8, is "clearly unconstitutional under longstanding Supreme Court precedent."