A Texas abortion doctor who had admitted to violating the state's new heartbeat abortion ban was sued twice Monday in what is believed to be the first true court challenge within the confines of the law.
Former attorneys from Arkansas and Illinois filed the suits.
The doctor, Alan Braid, had penned a Washington Post column explaining how he violated the law by performing an abortion on Sept. 6 on a woman carrying an unborn baby with a beating heart. Braid said he had a "duty to the patient."
The Texas law, which went into effect on Sept. 1, requires doctors to test for a fetal heartbeat and prohibits an abortion if one is detected. The law gives enforcement power to private citizens in the form of lawsuits.
The law is known as the Texas Heartbeat Act.
Texas Right to Life, which supports the law, labeled the two suits "bogus."
"Neither of these lawsuits are valid attempts to save innocent human lives," Texas Right to Life said. "Both cases are self-serving legal stunts, abusing the cause of action created in the Texas Heartbeat Act for their own purposes. We believe Braid published his op-ed intending to attract imprudent lawsuits, but none came from the Pro-Life movement."
Braid began working as a doctor in 1972, one year before the Supreme Court handed down its Roe decision.
"I understand that by providing an abortion beyond the new legal limit, I am taking a personal risk, but it's something I believe in strongly," Braid wrote.
Meanwhile, in a separate case, a federal judge will hear arguments on Oct. 1 in the Biden administration's challenge to the law.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Vladimir Cetinski
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.