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Texas doctor brags about violating new abortion law: 'I acted because I had a duty'

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A Texas doctor is openly bragging about violating the Lone Star State's controversial abortion law.

That law, known as S.B. 8, took effect after the Supreme Court declined to block the law. S.B. 8 outlaws abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected inside the womb, which typically occurs around six weeks into a pregnancy. The law is unique in that it relies on civil, not criminal, enforcement.

What did the doctor say?

Dr. Alan Braid, an OB-GYN physician who works in San Antonio, wrote an essay for the Washington Post, titled, "Why I violated Texas's extreme abortion ban."

In that article, Braid bragged about performing an abortion days after S.B. 8 took effect, and framed his unlawful act against the unborn child as dutiful and courageous.

"[O]n the morning of Sept. 6, I provided an abortion to a woman who, though still in her first trimester, was beyond the state's new limit," Braid wrote. "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."

Braid explained that he began his medical residency in 1972, one year before the landmark Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion. The doctor claimed that, because the Supreme Court declined to block the Texas law, "it is 1972 all over again."

Throughout his essay, Braid positively referred to the abortion procedure, which terminates the life of an unborn child, as "abortion care."

Will he face consequences?

Braid acknowledged that, by performing an abortion, he opened himself up to consequences as laid out under the Texas law. But the doctor said he performed the abortion to help challenge S.B. 8.

"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 said.

However, it is not clear if Braid will face any consequences. S.B. 8 targets people who perform abortions and individuals who aid or abet women in obtaining abortions. The law, however, does not permit women who obtain abortions to face consequences.

"I understand that by providing an abortion beyond the new legal limit, I am taking a personal risk, but it's something I believe in strongly," Braid wrote. "Represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights, my clinics are among the plaintiffs in an ongoing federal lawsuit to stop S.B. 8."

"I have daughters, granddaughters and nieces. I believe abortion is an essential part of health care," he continued. "I have spent the past 50 years treating and helping patients. I can't just sit back and watch us return to 1972."

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