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Texas banned off-label abortions for six weeks in a law that went into effect Sept. 1. Dr. Alan Braid, a Texas doctor, says he performed one anyway a few days later.
In an opinion piece for The Washington Post on Saturday, Braid, who has been practicing for more than 40 years, explained his decision as a “duty of care.” The new law, known as SB 8, not only makes it illegal to have an abortion after about six weeks, but also allows anyone who helps anyone else to get one, by performing the procedure or even giving him a trip to the clinic where they already have the procedure performed; you run the risk of being sued for at least $ 10,000.
Braid says he had an abortion anyway on Sept. 6 to a patient who was still in the first trimester but more than six weeks old. This patient, he wrote, “has a fundamental right to receive such care.”
“I have daughters, granddaughters and nieces. I believe abortion is an essential part of health care,” his work concluded. “I’ve spent the last 50 years treating and helping patients. I can’t just sit back and watch us go back to 1972,” which was before the Supreme Court. Roe against Wade decision.
The Supreme Court allowed Texas law to be upheld earlier this month while leaving the door open to future legal challenges.
Braid could be sued under the new law
Under the new law, any citizen could now sue Braid for having the abortion and, if he won, could leave with a minimum of $ 10,000. In Texas, the law allows private citizens to sue without any connection to the abortion in question. A website created by the abortion rights group, Texas Right to Life, also facilitates anonymous reporting of people suspected of violating the ban.
If sued, the abortion rights center at the Center for Reproductive Rights Center pledged to defend him. The group already represents Braid clinics in an independent lawsuit.
“Dr. Braid has bravely defended this blatantly unconstitutional law,” Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement. “We are willing to defend it against the surveillance demands that SB 8 threatens to trigger against those who provide or support access to constitutionally protected abortion care.”
Texas Right to Life did not immediately respond to an NPR email, but in statements to the media said it was “studying this claim, but we doubt this is just a legal trick.”
The clinics owned by Braid are co-plaintiffs along with other abortion providers, doctors, clergy and others in an ongoing lawsuit to block SB 8. The Department of Justice has also sued the state of Texas for the ban, while proponents of abortion rights have flooded a Texas Right to Life website with false reports.
Abortion providers have been afraid of the worst
Even before the law came into force, many doctors were concerned. Dr. Ghazaleh Moayedi, a Texas-based abortion and obstetrics provider, described the bill as “100% about scaring doctors and scaring abortion funds and intimidating us.”
“This law threatens my livelihood,” he said Considering all things. “It threatens my ability to take care of my family. It threatens my career simply by doing what I was trained to do here in Texas.”
Now abortion providers in Texas are pulling patients away and directing them to get services in different states, which Braid said he also had to do.
Historically, it is not uncommon for abortion providers to be subjected to harassment and violence. Harassment against abortion providers experienced a rebound in 2019, according to the National Abortion Federation. The FBI reported last year that violent threats against abortion providers had increased in part due to the “recent increase in state legislative activities related to abortion services and access.”