Dr. Alan Braid is daring any Texas citizen to sue him for $10,000. The Texas physician is continuing to perform abortions in violation of the state’s recent ban, and he says point-blank that he hopes someone out there does bring him to court over it.
Dr. Braid wrote a compelling op-ed for The Washington Post last weekend, explaining that he has deliberately defied the new law because he believes that women have “a fundamental right to receive this care.”
“I fully understood that there could be legal consequences,” Braid wrote, “but I wanted to make sure that Texas didn’t get away with its bid to prevent this blatantly unconstitutional law from being tested.”
The SCOTUS upheld the new law earlier this month, with conservative justice expressing in the majority opinion that because Texas has deputized citizens to enforce the law via civil lawsuits, there has not yet been a legal challenge against the law presented in a courtroom.
Braid explained in his op-ed piece that he began his residency in San Antonio in 1972, the year before the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade, when abortions were still completely illegal in Texas. He saw three teenagers die from abortions that year. Of one, he wrote, “I will never forget. When she came into the ER, her vaginal cavity was packed with rags. She died a few days later from massive organ failure, caused by a septic infection.”
Braid pointed out that the new law makes no exceptions for survivors of rape; he says that assault victims in need of pregnancy termination make appointments with his office every month. But, he added, women and people with uteruses should not need to be viciously assaulted in order to receive healthcare that includes the ability to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.
“They’re finishing school or they already have three children, they’re in an abusive relationship, or it’s just not time,” he wrote. “A majority are mothers. Most are between 18 and 30. Many are struggling financially—more than half qualify for some form of financial aid from us. […] 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.”
Twitter was full of appreciation for Dr. Braid, and for other allies like him.
Braid is currently being represented by the legal advocacy group Center for Reproductive Rights.