A doctor in Texas said Saturday that he purposefully performed an illegal abortion, one that goes against the state’s new pro-life law, which bans most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy or when a fetal heartbeat can be detected.
Alan Braid, a San Antonio OB/GYN, wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post, titled, “Why I violated Texas’s extreme abortion ban.” Describing his career in Texas, Braid wrote, “When the Supreme Court issued its ruling in Roe v. Wade in 1973, recognizing abortion as a constitutional right, it enabled me to do the job I was trained to do.”
He continued, “For the next 45 years — not including the two years I was away in the Air Force — I was a practicing OB/GYN in Texas, conducting Pap smears, pelvic exams and pregnancy check-ups; delivering more than 10,000 babies; and providing abortion care at clinics I opened in Houston and San Antonio, and another in Oklahoma.”
Braid explained it was “1972 all over again” for him after the new Texas law was passed, which led him to perform an abortion on a woman who was “beyond the state’s new limit.” He argued that he “acted because [he] 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 was also sure to include anecdotal pieces of information about his patients who have sought abortions, saying the majority of them are mothers, with most women falling between the ages of 18 and 30. He added that several times a month, a woman tells the abortion provider that she has been raped, and more often than not, doesn’t report the crime to the police.
“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. Represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights, my clinics are among the plaintiffs in an ongoing federal lawsuit to stop S.B. 8.,” the doctor wrote, adding that he has daughters, granddaughters and nieces and believes abortion is “an essential part of health care.”
John Seago, legislative director for Texas Right to Life, has said, per The Washington Post, that the group “is exploring all of our options to hold anyone accountable who breaks the (Texas) law.”
“This is obviously a stunt to move forward with other legal attacks on the law,” he said about Braid’s piece. “This was always something that we expected — that someone would essentially try to bait a lawsuit. So we’re just moving into the next phase of Senate Bill 8 right now.”
Chelsey Youman, the national director of public policy for Human Coalition, another pro-life organization, said that Braid is “willfully conducting illegal abortions right now.”
“He knows he’s currently incurring liability and he may face repercussions for that . . . but for the most part that’s a choice the larger abortion clinics have not made. They’re saying they’re going to comply. We should celebrate that lives are being saved in the interim,” she said, reports the Post.
As the Post reported, “Braid’s clinics are represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights, which brought a federal lawsuit against the Texas ban.”
“We stand ready to defend him against the vigilante lawsuits that S.B. 8 threatens to unleash against those providing or supporting access to constitutionally protected abortion care,” said Nancy Northup, the group’s CEO and president
The Biden administration’s Justice Department has taken action to stop the new Texas law from taking effect, filing a lawsuit against the state of Texas and further pressing a federal judge to put out an order to halt the law last week.