A Texas doctor performed an abortion after a woman’s first six weeks of pregnancy, breaking a new Texas law that came into effect this month.
The law, called SB 8, allows individuals to sue anyone who assists a woman with an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, even in cases of rape and incest. This includes partners who support the abortion process, friends who post advice online about where to have an abortion, and Uber drivers who take women to abortion clinics. This also includes doctors who perform the abortion itself.
In an editorial in The Washington PostDr Alan Braid of San Antonio said he performed the abortion on September 6, five days after the law came into force, and can now be sued by an individual for more than 10,000 $.
“I fully understood that there could be legal consequences – but I wanted to make sure Texas didn’t get away with its attempt to prevent this blatantly unconstitutional law from being tested,” Braid said.
Read more: Talking about online abortion in Texas? What you say on Facebook or Twitter could hurt you
Braid describes his professional experience from his residence in 1972, when abortion was illegal in all cases except to save the life of the pregnant woman. He remembers teenagers who entered his emergency room, bleeding from an illegal and unsafe abortion, who later died.
After Roe v. Wade, a Supreme Court case that legalized abortion nationwide in 1973, Braid has spent more than 40 years performing abortions at clinics in Texas and Oklahoma.
With the passage of SB 8, Braid said, “For me it’s still 1972.”
President Biden’s Justice Department is suing Texas over the ban in hopes that the case will be put on the Supreme Court’s docket again. Earlier in September, the Supreme Court ruled against abortion rights activists, rejecting their attempt to prevent Texas law from coming into force.
Michelle Shen is a Money & Tech digital reporter for USATODAY. You can reach her @ michelle_shen10 on Twitter.
Biden administration sues Texas over abortion ban: And after? Will the Supreme Court deal with it?