In an opinion essay in The Washington Post entitled “Why I Violated Texas’ Extreme Abortion Ban,” Dr. Alan Brad wrote, “I am taking a personal risk, but it is something I strongly believe in.”
A Texas doctor revealed on Saturday that she had performed an abortion in defiance of a new state law that bans most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, prompting a potential trial of one of the most restrictive abortion measures in the country. The matter is established.
in one Essay Published in The Washington Post under the headline “Why I Violate Texas’ Extreme Abortion Ban,” the doctor, Alan Brad, who has been aborting for more than 40 years, said he performed a demonstration for a woman on September 6. did, however, still in its first quarter, was beyond the state’s new limit.
“I worked because I had a duty to care for this patient, as I do for all patients, and because he has a fundamental right to receive this care,” Dr. Brad wrote. “I fully understood there could be legal consequences — but I wanted to make sure Texas didn’t shy away from its bid to block this apparently unconstitutional law from being put on trial.”
Dr. Brad’s disclosure was the latest – and perhaps the most direct – by abortion rights advocates who are fighting to stop the law, which prohibits most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy, before many women can do it. She also knows that she is pregnant. The law makes no exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest.
Even before his disclosure, Dr. Brad, who has operated abortion clinics in Houston and San Antonio as well as Oklahoma, was already challenging the law in court. His clinics were among plaintiffs in a pending federal lawsuit seeking to overturn the measure.
On September 1, the Supreme Court refused to immediately block the new Texas law, in a 5-4 decision inspired by the lawsuit. The majority insisted that it was not ruling on the constitutionality of the law and did not intend to limit “procedurally justified challenges”.
On Tuesday, the Justice Department asked a federal judge to issue an order that would prevent Texas from enforcing legislation, known as Senate Bill 8, which was passed with strong support from the state’s Republican leaders. .
The Justice Department argued in its emergency speed That the state adopted legislation “to prevent women from exercising their constitutional rights,” the department said last week, reiterating an argument it made when it sued Texas for restricting enforcement of the controversial law.
At the heart of the legal debate over the law is a mechanism that essentially deputizes private citizens, rather than government officials, to enforce sanctions by prosecuting anyone who either performs an abortion or “aids and abets” the procedure. Is”. Plaintiffs who have no relationship with the patient or clinic can sue and recover $10,000 in legal fees as well if they win. Patients themselves cannot be sued.
“I understand that by providing abortion beyond the legal limit, I am taking a personal risk, but it is something I strongly believe in,” Dr. Brad wrote.
Nancy Northup, president and chief executive of the Center for Reproductive Rights, who is already in her clinic pending litigation, Dr. Brad, said in a statement that he “boldly stood up against this unconstitutional law.”
“We stand ready to defend against vigilance lawsuits that threaten to initiate against those who provide or support access to SB8 constitutionally protected abortion care,” she said in a statement.
Representatives for Gov. Greg Abbott, who signed the measure into law, and Texas Right to Life, an anti-abortion group seeking suggestions on any doctor who violates the law, quickly responded to emails seeking comment on Saturday. not given. .
Understand Texas Abortion Laws
Most restrictive in the country. The Texas abortion law, known as Senate Bill 8, equates to a nearly complete ban on abortion in the state. It prohibits most abortions after about six weeks of gestation and makes no exceptions for pregnancies resulting from incest or rape.
In an interview on Saturday, Dr. Brad declined to say that the woman, whom he miscarried on September 6, was informed that her procedure could be part of a test case against the law. “I’m not going to answer any questions about the patient in any way,” he said.
He said he had consulted with lawyers for the Center for Reproductive Rights and hoped that by publicly saying he had an abortion, he could contribute to the campaign to invalidate the law.
“I hope the law is reversed,” he said, “and if it does, that would be great.”
In his essay, Dr. Brad mentioned that his career began on July 1, 1972, with an obstetrics and gynecology residency at San Antonio Hospital. Roe vs. Wade, a 1973 decision that established the constitutional right to abortion.
“At the hospital that year, I saw three teenagers die from illegal abortions,” he wrote. “One I will never forget. When she came to the ER, her vaginal cavity was filled with rags. She died a few days later of massive organ failure due to a septic infection.”
Roe versus Wade, he wrote, “enabled me to do what I was trained to do.” Then, this month, “everything changed” with the Supreme Court’s decision not to block the Texas law.
“I have daughters, granddaughters and nieces,” wrote Dr. Brad. “I believe abortion is an essential part of health care. I’ve spent the past 50 years treating and helping patients. I can’t just sit back and look back at us in 1972.”