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Arkansas man sues Texas doctor under 6-week abortion law

Arkansas man sues Texas doctor under 6-week abortion law
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The Justice Department sued Texas this month, arguing that the law, known as Senate Bill 8, is "clearly unconstitutional under longstanding Supreme Court precedent."

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