A Texas doctor has admitted to performing an abortion in violation of the state’s contentious new law. This law bans nearly all abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, claiming that he had a duty of care to this woman.
In an op-ed, Alan Braid, a San Antonio-based physician, stated that on Sept. 6, just five days after the Texas abortion ban took effect, he provided an abortion to a woman who, albeit still in her first trimester, was beyond the state’s new limit.
He said he acted because he owed this patient a duty of care, as he does to all patients. And she has a fundamental right to receive this treatment. He went on to say that he has spent the last 50 years treating and helping patients. He can’t just sit here and wait for us to go back to 1972.
A little about the Texas doctor
Braid, who began his obstetrics and gynecology residency at a San Antonio hospital in 1972, said he saw three teens die from illegal abortions in the year. This was before abortion was recognized as a constitutional right in the 1973 landmark Supreme Court decision.
For him, it’s 1972 all over again. Braid wrote after the Supreme Court decided not to block Texas’ new abortion law earlier this month.
The doctor claimed to have worked as an OB/GYN for more than four decades. In fact, he has conducted Pap screenings, pelvic examinations, and pregnancy check-ups; delivering more than 10,000 infants; and providing abortion treatment at clinics I built in Houston and San Antonio, as well as another in Oklahoma.
More About the Abortion Law
The new Texas law shut down roughly 80% of the abortion services they provide. In Texas, the so-called fetal heartbeat rule prohibits all abortions if a cardiac activity is detected. This can happen as early as six weeks into a pregnancy before many women are aware they are pregnant.
Hence, the Biden administration has already stated its intention to challenge the Texas law. Especially with the Department of Justice submitting a lawsuit this week seeking a preliminary injunction or a temporary restraining order to prevent the ban from taking effect. The Texas Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday that it would take steps to protect patients and abortion providers. This includes awarding up to $10 million in subsidies to clinics that have seen a spike in demand since the law went into effect.
While the legislation allows for exceptions in cases of a medical emergency. It does not allow for pregnancies caused by rape or incest. It also empowers almost any individual citizen to sue someone who has performed or assisted in the performance of an abortion operation. Individuals who file lawsuits have a chance to receive $10,000 if their case is successful.
While he well understood that there could be legal implications for his choice. Braid said that he wanted to make sure that Texas didn’t get away with its bid to keep this illegal law from being tested. He also feels that abortion is a vital element of health care.