AUSTIN (KXAN) — A physician in Texas says he’s purposely performed an abortion in direct violation of the state’s new restrictive abortion laws.
In a Saturday opinion piece in The Washington Post titled “Why I violated Texas’s extreme abortion ban,” San Antonio-based Dr. Alan Braid revealed he’d given an abortion to a woman in her first trimester. Texas’ polarizing Senate Bill 8 bans abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, before most people even know they’re pregnant.
Many, including Braid, view the short window for abortion procedures as a camouflaged ban on abortion by state Republicans. In his piece, Braid says he “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. 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.”
Legal consequences in the bill include the ability for individuals and organizations to sue other individuals and organizations who aid someone in getting an abortion outside of the six-week period. This could include abortion providers, family and friends, and even rideshare drivers who transport someone to an abortion clinic—all for up to $10,000.
Before taking effect, the bill made it up to the Supreme Court. They ultimately allowed it to stand. SB 8 doesn’t make exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest, an element of the bill many find particularly cruel. Braid says he often encounters these kinds of victims.
SB 8 has been widely condemned nationally, with President Joe Biden calling it “unconstitutional chaos,” and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland promising that the Department of Justice would protect those seeking abortions while it urgently works to protect access to abortion.
On Saturday, protesters and supporters held opposing rallies at the Texas State Capitol, with one group dancing in praise of the bill’s passage and the other trying to raise noise to stop it from continuing.
“This law effectively overturns Roe v. Wade for people in Texas, and we know it won’t stop there. If this is not overturned, similar laws could be enacted in states across the country, disproportionately impacting marginalized communities,” said the Austin National Organization for Women.
Braid, a graduate of the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, writes that while he understands the risks he’s taking, his belief in securing abortion rights outweighs the fear.
“I have daughters, granddaughters, and nieces. I believe abortion is an essential part of health care. I have spent the past 50 years treating and helping patients,” Braid concludes. “I can’t just sit back and watch us return to 1972.”
- Scientists develop a new strategy to fight coronaviruses, vaccinate against future pandemics
- Former Horseheads Red Lobster GM sues company for race & sex discrimination
- 10/17/21: Cool & Breezy for Monday
- Albany County coronavirus update, October 17, Sunday
- 1 in 3 men would give up watching football to get rid of their belly fat