Doctor Says It Was His 'Duty' to Defy Texas Abortion Law

Provided abortion after 6-week mark
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2021 6:30 AM CDT
Doctor Claims to Defy Texas Abortion Law
A protest against the six-week abortion ban at the Capitol in Austin, Texas.   (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP, File)

A Texas doctor has penned a Washington Post op-ed in which he says he defied Texas's highly restrictive abortion law. In fact, the admission is right there in the title of Dr. Alan Braid's “Why I violated Texas’s extreme abortion ban.” "I acted because I had a duty of care to this patient," he wrote. Per the New York Times, the woman was in her first trimester, but past the new six week mark. The Texas law, now the strictest in the country, bans abortions once medical professionals can detect cardiac activity, which is usually around six weeks and before many women know they’re pregnant. “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.”

Braid's op-ed comes after the doctor, who's provided abortions in Houston, San Antonio, and Oklahoma, already filed suit in federal court in a bid to stop the law after the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 earlier this month to let the rule stand. The Justice Department is also suing Texas over its new law, arguing that it was enacted "in open defiance of the Constitution." On Saturday, Dr. Braid told the Times he hoped that by openly defying the law he might contribute to it being overturned. He notes in his essay that his career-long support of safe, legal abortions began just before Roe v. Wade, when he was a resident in San Antonio where he says he saw three teenagers die from illegal abortions. "I have spent the past 50 years treating and helping patients," he wrote. "I can’t just sit back and watch us return to 1972.” (More abortion stories.)

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