(Updated 10.13.21) The Center for Reproductive Rights and its partners filed a lawsuit on October 5, 2021 defending a physician who violated the Texas law banning abortion care at approximately six weeks of pregnancy, before many know they’re pregnant. The lawsuit also asks the court to declare the Texas law, known as S.B. 8, unconstitutional.
The Texas law, designed by lawmakers to skirt judicial review, also incentivizes individuals to seek monetary penalties of at least $10,000 by suing anyone who provides an abortion or assists someone in obtaining one after the law’s limit. After taking effect on September 1, the ban ended almost all abortion access in the state.
The Center’s lawsuit representing Dr. Braid was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and seeks to consolidate multiple lawsuits filed against Dr. Alan Braid. Dr. Braid was sued for violating the Texas ban by a resident of Illinois, a resident of Arkansas, and a resident of Texas. The Center has asked the court to rule that none of those individuals has a valid S.B. 8 claim against Dr. Braid because the law is unconstitutional. (Read the full complaint here.)
Dr. Braid is the owner and medical director of Alamo Women’s Reproductive Services in San Antonio and is a plaintiff in an earlier lawsuit, Whole Woman’s Health et al. v. Jackson et al., filed July 13 by the Center and its partners to block the Texas law before it took effect. After he provided the abortion care to his patient on September 6, Dr. Braid wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post titled, “Why I violated Texas’s extreme abortion ban,” which was published on September 18.
“I have a duty of care to my patients and, in this instance, I provided that care in violation of S.B. 8,” said Dr. Alan Braid, the physician who provided abortion care to a Texas woman who was in the first trimester of her pregnancy, but beyond the limit under the new law. “Every day it is in effect, S.B. 8 is harming the people of Texas and denying them their constitutional right to abortion, and it must be stopped,” added Dr. Braid.
Center Attorneys: Marc Hearron, Molly Duane
Co-Counsel/Cooperating Attorneys: Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, Susman Godfrey LLP, and Massey & Gail LLP
Interpleader Plaintiffs: ALAN BRAID, M.D.
Interpleader Defendants: OSCAR STILLEY; FELIPE N. GOMEZ; WOLFGANG P. HIRCZY DE MINO, PH.D., AKA TEXAS HEARTBEAT PROJECT
Braid v. Stilley: Complaint for Interpleader and Declaratory Judgment, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, 10.05.21