Texas Doctor Challenges SB 8, Admits To Performing An Abortion

texas abortion ban fight
(Sergio Flores / Getty Image News)

A doctor in San Antonio detailed how he performed an abortion that violated the new law that all but bans abortion in the state.

SB 8, AKA the law that effectively bans nearly all forms of abortion after the six-week mark, already has companies taking a public stance. Ride share companies Uber and Lyft have offered to pay legal fees for drivers sued under the new law. Other companies followed suit, and some, like software company Salesforce, promised to cover relocation costs for any employees concerned for their ability to access health care. Hell, even the Satanic Temple has entered the ring and made sure their members have access to the abortion pill. And while it is cool (and perhaps vital) that these companies are fighting back, it is even more crucial that medical professionals take a stand.

Dr. Alan Braid, an OB-GYN located in San Antonio, Texas, wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post detailing how — and why — he performed an abortion after SB 8 passed. This is one of the first of what we hope will be many medical professionals taking a stand and advocating for their patients’ right to this health care procedure.

“I believe abortion is an essential part of health care. … I can’t just sit back and watch us return to 1972.”

Braid, who has performed abortions throughout his 45-year career, said he performed the procedure for a woman still in her first trimester, but further along than what the new law permits. “I acted because I had a duty of care to this patient, as I do for all patients, and because she has a fundamental right to receive this care. I fully understood that there could be legal consequences — I wanted to make sure that Texas didn’t get away with its bid to prevent this blatantly unconstitutional law from being tested,” Braid wrote.

If Braid were to be sued, he could lose at least $10,000 to a successful plaintiff, not including his own legal fees. “Anyone who suspects I have violated the new law can sue me for at least $10,000. They could also sue anybody who helps a person obtain an abortion past the new limit, including, apparently, the driver who brings a patient to my clinic. For me, it is 1972 all over again.”

Before writing his opinion piece, Braid and his clinics were already fighting the abortion ban. His clinics are among the plaintiffs in a lawsuit looking to repeal the archaic measure. “We stand ready to defend him against the vigilante lawsuits that SB 8 threatens to unleash against those providing or supporting access to constitutionally protected abortion care,” said Nancy Northup, the CEO of the group representing Braid’s clinics. Here’s hoping more health care providers follow suit to challenge this unconstitutional, misogynistic law.