Former Kansas and Illinois lawyers filed separate state proceedings against Dr. Alan Blade on Monday. Dr. Alan Blade became the first Texas abortion provider to publicly reveal in a Washington Post opinion column over the weekend that he had violated the law that came into force on September 1.
They both came ahead of the state’s largest anti-abortion group, which said they had lawyers ready to file proceedings. The former lawyer who filed the proceedings did not say he was against abortion. But both said the court should be weighted.
Texas law prohibits abortion once medical professionals are able to detect heart activity. This is usually about 6 weeks, even before some women find out that they are pregnant. Prosecutors cannot file criminal proceedings against Blade, as expressly prohibited by law. The only way to enforce the ban is through a proceeding filed by a civilian who does not have to be from Texas and has the right to claim damages of at least $ 10,000 if successful.
Oscar Stilly, who described himself in court documents as a shameful former lawyer who lost his legal license after being convicted of tax fraud in 2010, does not oppose abortion, but in Texas. He said he had appealed to force a court review of the abortion ban law. He called it an “hit and run.”
“I don’t want the doctor to sit there, put on his boots and tremble, and say,’If this goes well, I’m going bankrupt, so I can’t do this,'” said Stilly of Cedarville. , Arkansas near the Oklahoma border told The Associated Press.
Felipe N. Gomez of Chicago called on a court in San Antonio to declare the new law unconstitutional in a proceeding. In his view, law is a form of government overkill. He added that his proceedings were a way to hold Republicans running Texas accountable, and that their lazy response to public health during the COVID-19 pandemic was at odds with crackdowns on abortion rights.
“If Republicans are going to say that no one can tell you to be shot, they shouldn’t tell women what to do with their bodies,” Gomez said. “I think they should be consistent.”
Gomez said he was unaware that he could claim damages of up to $ 10,000 if he won the proceedings. If he receives the money, Gomez is likely to donate it to the abortion group or the patient of the doctor he sued.
Legal experts say Braid’s approval is likely to set up another test of whether the law is valid after the Supreme Court has allowed it to come into effect.
“By being sued, he is in a position to defend the proceedings against him by saying that the law is unconstitutional,” said Carol Sanger, a law professor at Columbia University in New York City.
Braid wrote on September 6 that he offered abortion to women who were still in their first semester but were above the state’s new limits.
“I fully understood that legal consequences could occur, but I wanted to prevent Texas from escaping the bid to prevent this blatantly unconstitutional law from being tested.” Braid wrote.
Two federal proceedings, known as Senate Bill 8, had already passed court over the law. One was filed by abortion providers and others, and the Supreme Court refused to block the law from coming into force while the proceedings were proceeding. Legal system. It is still underway at the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals. In the second case, the Justice Department has asked federal judges to declare the law invalid, claiming that it was enacted “openly in opposition to the Constitution.”
The Reproductive Rights Center, one of the plaintiffs in the first federal proceedings, represents Blade.
In a statement, the center’s senior adviser, Mark Harlon, said Texas law “‘anyone’ can sue for violations, including those by out-of-state claimants.” I’m starting. “
I couldn’t immediately contact Blade for comment on Monday. His clinic introduced the interview inquiries to the center.
Texas Light to Life, the state’s largest anti-abortion group, has criticized both the proceedings and Blade’s opinion column.
“Neither of these proceedings is a valid attempt to save an innocent life,” the group said. “Blade believes he has published an editorial intended to attract ill-advised proceedings, but none came from the anti-abortion movement.”
Texas Right to Life has launched a website to receive tips on suspected violations, but is now redirected to the group’s home page. A spokeswoman for this group states that the website is almost symbolic because anyone can report a breach and the abortion provider appears to be in compliance with the law.
Republican Governor Greg Abbott’s office did not immediately return a message asking for comment on Monday.
Joanna Grossman, a law professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, said that if a proceeding against Blade reaches the Texas Supreme Court, whether the court has exceeded its authority by allowing anyone to sue. He said he could judge.
“The Texas Supreme Court will have the opportunity / obligation to say whether this approach, which is not limited to abortion, is an acceptable way for the Legislature to pursue that goal,” Grossman said.
Seth Chandler, a law professor at the University of Houston, said that anyone who filed a lawsuit said, “We are standing in Texas, even though we have not personally suffered any financial or property damage. I have to convince the court. “
Braid said in a post column that he began obstetrics and gynecology training at San Antonio Hospital on July 1, 1972, when abortion was “virtually illegal in Texas.” That year he wrote that he saw three teens die of an illegal abortion.
In 1973, the US Supreme Court ruled Roe v. Wade. This established the national right to have an abortion at any time before the foetation could survive outside the womb, usually about 24 weeks.
“I have a daughter, a granddaughter, and a niece,” writes Braid. “I believe abortion is an important part of health care. I’ve spent the last 50 years treating and helping patients. I just can’t see them sitting back in 1972.”
Associated Press writers Jake Braberg and Adam Kealoha Cozy of Dallas and Andrew Demiro of Little Rock, Arkansas contributed to this report.
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Texas doctors sued against state’s new abortion ban
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