SAN ANTONIO – After admitting to violating Texas’ new abortion restrictions in a Washington Post column published this weekend, a San Antonio doctor has fielded his first lawsuit over the medical procedure, according to court records obtained by KSAT. The lawsuit, which actually seeks to nullify the restrictive abortion law, appears to be the first so far reported under the new law.
Dr. Alan Braid, an OB-GYN on San Antonio’s Northwest Side, explained his reasons for following through on an abortion procedure on Sept. 6 in the column. The woman was still in her first trimester, but beyond the state’s window of six weeks, before most women even know they’re pregnant.
“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 wrote.
By openly admitting to the procedure, Braid opened himself up to civil lawsuits paved by Senate Bill 8. Under the law, anyone — not just Texans — can sue Braid and anyone else who assisted the woman to have the abortion for at least $10,000.
“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,” Braid wrote.
Bexar County court records obtained by KSAT 12 show that Braid was sued Monday by Felipe N. Gomez, an attorney who was disbarred in Illinois after other attorneys accused him of sending harassing and threatening emails. Records showed Gomez was suspended indefinitely as he appeals the disbarment orders.
Gomez filed the lawsuit pro se, identifying himself as a “Pro Choice plaintiff” and an Illinois resident. In the court filing, Gomez asks the judge to order the law is unconstitutional and violates Roe v. Wade. The lawsuit does not seek any monetary relief in the case.
Braid said his clinic is among those represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is challenging the law in federal court.
Braid has not returned KSAT’s requests for comment.
The Washington Post also reported another lawsuit against Braid, filed by a disbarred Arkansas attorney who was convicted of tax fraud. In that suit, Oscar Stilley is asking for at least $10,000 from Braid for violating the abortion law.
A priority for Republicans in the Texas Legislature, lawmakers forced through the bill, which is also known as the “Texas Heartbeat Act.” Before, Texans could get an abortion within 22 weeks of the pregnancy. Now, that window has narrowed to only six weeks with no exceptions for victims of rape and incest.
Mara Posada, Director of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood South Texas, previously told KSAT that the law severely curbed their abilities to provide care.
“The governor has made it impossible for us to continue providing abortion care, given how broad SB8 is,” Posada said.
Many organizations and workplaces have taken a stand against the law and pledged to help women get abortions, even it means taking them outside the state to receive the procedure.