A doctor from Texas publicly has admitted that he performed an abortion just a few days after the state’s new six-week abortion ban (Senate Bill 8 or Heartbeat Act) took effect on Sept. 1.
According to an opinion piece written by Dr. Alan Baird for The Washington Post, he claimed that he had gone through with an abortion procedure despite the risks of being sued, as a matter of “duty of care.” Under the new law, Baird could face lawsuits for at least $10,000 when a private citizen, with or without connection to the abortion procedure, files a lawsuit against him.
However, Baird explained that as a practiving physician for over 40 years and he feels that the patient on which he performed the procedure on September 6, “has a fundamental right to receive this care.” He also shared the patient in question is still in her first trimester but is way beyond the six week mark.
In his opinion piece, Baird said that he believes that abortion is “essential” particularly because he himself has daughters and granddaughters who may need such service. He also claimed rhat he finds it impossible to let himself go back to the time when abortion is inaccessible.
“I have daughters, granddaughters and nieces. I believe abortion is an essential part of health care,” he wrote, adding: “I have spent the past 50 years treating and helping patients. I can’t just sit back and watch us return to 1972,” which was before the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.
Baird’s abortion procedure on Sept. 6 was not his first avt of defiance against the new abortion law. Along with other abortion providers, physicians, and clergy members, Baird and all the clinics he co-own have an ongoing lawsuit to block S.B. 8. They were on the same side with the Justice Department which also sued the state of Texas over the ban.
Meanwhile, Baird has found an ally in the abortion-rights advocacy group Center for Reproductive Rights, as they pledged to defend him for “courageously standing up against the unconstitutional law.”
“Dr. Braid has courageously stood up against this blatantly unconstitutional law,” Center for Reproductive Rights president and CEO Nancy Northup said in a statement. “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.”
Texas Right to Life, on the other hand, said in statements to news outlets that tbey are “looking into this claim but [they] are dubious that this is just a legal stunt.”