Bexar County Judge Tosses First “Bounty Hunter” Abortion Lawsuit
South Texas: The first lawsuit brought against a Texas doctor for breaking the state’s contentious abortion ban was thrown out by a San Antonio judge.
After six weeks of pregnancy, “Senate Bill Eight,” which went into effect in September 2021, makes it legal to sue anyone who assists a woman in obtaining an abortion for a reward of $10,000.
State District Judge Arron Haas ruled that those who have no personal stake in illegal abortions and have suffered no injury as a result of them lack the legal standing to file such actions.
Former Chicago attorney Felipe Gomez brought the claim with no relationship to Doctor Alan Braid or the patient he treated.
The Center hopes for Reproductive Rights that this verdict would serve as a precedent to discourage such cases in the future.
Center for Reproductive Rights CEO Nancy Northup called the ruling a “major triumph” against S.B. 8’s bounty-hunting plan. “The court rejected the premise that Texas can allow a person with no connection to an abortion to sue,” Northup said.
However, the opportunity to strike down S.B. 8 as a whole was lost, and Texas is now implementing several abortion laws as a result of the Dobbs ruling. That’s why hospitals in Texas are turning away pregnant women who are having life-threatening obstetric emergencies. Someone’s health care needs should not be determined by whether or not they are close to death.