Former Arkansas and Illinois lawyers have sued Dr Alan Braid, who, in a weekend Washington Post opinion column, became Texas’ top abortion provider to publicly reveal that he had violated the law entered into force on September 1.
The law prohibits abortions once healthcare professionals can detect heart activity, which is usually around six weeks and before some women even know they are pregnant.
Prosecutors cannot initiate criminal proceedings against Dr Braid, as the law explicitly prohibits it.
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The only way the ban can be enforced is through lawsuits brought by private citizens, who are entitled to claim at least $ 10,000 (£ 7,300) in damages if successful.
Oscar Stilley, who described himself as a former lawyer who lost his lawyer’s license after being convicted of tax evasion in 2010, said he was not opposed to abortion but had filed a lawsuit to force a judicial review of Texasanti-abortion law.
“I don’t want the doctors to be nervous and sit there and shake in their boots and say, ‘I can’t do this because if it works then I’m going to go bankrupt,’” he said.
Carol Sanger, professor of law at Columbia University in New York, said Dr Braid “will be able to defend the action against him by claiming that the law is unconstitutional.”
During this time, US Department of Justice sues Texas in an attempt to block the new law, arguing that the state legislature enacted it “in open disregard of the constitution”.
The civil lawsuit, filed in a state federal court, asks a federal judge to declare that the abortion law, known as SB8 (Senate Bill 8), is invalid “to protect the rights that the Texas raped ”.
The Justice Department argues that SB8 unlawfully violates women’s constitutional rights and violates the constitution’s supremacy clause, according to which federal law takes precedence over state law.