On September 1, the highly restrictive anti-abortion law went into effect in Texas, but a state physician, named Dr. Alan Braid, said he performed one abortion anyway just a few days later, according to NPR.
The new law makes performing an abortion after about six weeks illegal. Upon breaking the law, one runs the risk of being sued for at least $10,000.
Dr. Braid, who has been practicing for over 40 years, explained that his decision to conduct an abortion was a “duty of care.”
In an opinion piece for The Washington Post on Saturday, Dr. Braid said he performed an abortion anyway on September 6. He said he did the procedure on a patient who was still in her first trimester but further along than six weeks. He wrote that the patient “has a fundamental right to receive this care.”
“I have daughters, granddaughters and nieces,” he added. “I believe abortion is an essential part of health care. I have spent the past 50 years treating and helping patients. I can’t just sit back and watch us return to 1972.”
Dr. Braid could be sued under the new law. And if he does get sued, the abortion-rights advocacy group Center for Reproductive Rights (CRC) pledged to defend him.
CRC President and CEO Nancy Northup said, “Dr. Braid has courageously stood up against this blatantly unconstitutional law. We stand ready to defend him against the vigilante lawsuits that S.B. 8 threatens to unleash against those providing or supporting access to constitutionally protected abortion care.”
Before the abortion law went into effect in Texas, many physicians expressed concerns.
For instance, Dr. Ghazaleh Moayedi, a Texan OB/GYN and abortion provider, described the bill as being “100% about putting fear in physicians and putting fear in abortion funds and intimidating us.”
She told All Things Considered, “This law threatens my livelihood. It threatens my ability to care for my family. It threatens my career simply for doing what I was trained to do right here in Texas.”