September 19, 2021

A physician in Texas has violated the new abortion law and he wants his action to be public knowledge.

Alan Braid explains why in The Washington Post:
Newly graduated from the University of Texas medical school, I began my obstetrics and gynecology residency at a San Antonio hospital on July 1, 1972.... At the hospital that year, I saw three teenagers die from illegal abortions. One 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....
For me, it is 1972 all over again. And that is why, on 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. 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 — but I wanted to make sure that Texas didn’t get away with its bid to prevent this blatantly unconstitutional law from being tested.... 
Since [the new law went into effect], most of our patients have been too far along in their pregnancies to qualify for abortion care. I tell them that we can offer services only if we cannot see the presence of cardiac activity on an ultrasound, which usually occurs at about six weeks, before most people know they are pregnant. 
The tension is unbearable as they lie there, waiting to hear their fate. If we detect cardiac activity, we have to refer them out of state. One of the women I talked with since the law took effect is 42. She has four kids, three under 12. I advised her that she could go to Oklahoma. That’s a nine-hour drive one way. I explained we could help with the funding. 
She told me she couldn’t go even if we flew her in a private jet. “Who’s going to take care of my kids?” she asked me. “What about my job? I can’t miss work.” 
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. 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 spent the past 50 years treating and helping patients. I can’t just sit back and watch us return to 1972.

I'm giving this my "lawsuits I hope will succeed" tag because the doctor is associated with one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit designed to stop the new law. Should he become the defendant in one of these citizen suits to enforce the law, he'll have an opportunity to assert the constitutional right as a defense, and I hope that defense will succeed. 

His having performed the abortion in violation of the law should help with the standing problem in federal court. He now has a threatened injury that is concrete and particular. 

59 comments:

gilbar said...

So, let me see if; i've got this straight?
he's saying, that SINCE abortions are dangerous, we NEED to have them?

gilbar said...

Who’s going to take care of my kids?” she asked me.
“What about my job? I can’t miss work.”


Who takes care of her kids (three of which are under 12), When she's at work?

rehajm said...

The glee in using the abortion as a legal too to help with the standing problem. Hooray!

gilbar said...

this is fun!
Abortion doctor Alan Braid borrowed millions to build a state-of-the-art abortion clinic to corner the San Antonio abortion market. Facing financial ruin after Texas limited abortions to 6-8 weeks after conception Dr. Braid began conducted illegal abortions to avoid bankruptcy.

the traveler said...

"a nine hour drive each way"

The only way I can see this being true is if the "pregnant person" is driving from El Paso to Oklahoma rather than, say, Albuquerque NM (3.75 hours) or Tucson AZ (4.5 hours).

David Begley said...

Civil disobedience can be righteous. Many people refusing to get the vax and wear masks.

This Person said...

It's a matter of when, not if, the TX law will be overturned. The bigger question is whether Biden will step in and ration abortions. For fairness.

Saint Croix said...

His having performed the abortion in violation of the law should help with the standing problem in federal court.

The baby in Roe v. Wade was 2 years old when the case was decided. So I don't really think they give a shit about standing.

If you were looking for a reason to not hear the case, the baby just had another birthday would probably cover it. But I think they really wanted to impose a new law on the country, Althouse.

It's not like the Supreme Court always has the most serious legal scholars when they issue new rules. "Oh, we'll just define the baby as a non-person, that will solve it." Because calling people non-people worked out so well with that slavery thing. Blackmun's so dumb he cites slavery law as part of his thinking on the issue.

Madison liberal: Renaming the city to cover up those crimes from the 19th century, while simultaneous stabbing unwanted black babies that you define as non-people.

Hey, baby, you don't have standing! You're too little and we don't see you.

Leland said...

There are so many false arguments made in these statements, I wouldn’t be surprised if the woman was impregnated over the Labor Day weekend.

tommyesq said...

"a nine hour drive each way"

and uphill in both directions!

Kevin said...

"a nine hour drive each way"

This can’t have been the closest back alley.

Jamie said...

Well, we knew it would happen. And we knew it would hinge on an anecdote - that's the nature of a lawsuit, right?

But I wish, how I wish, for data: statistically, how many women actually don't know or at least suspect they're pregnant four-ish weeks earlier when they miss a period? How many women with regular periods get abortions and at what point? How many abortions can be chalked up to a failure of more or less properly used birth control, as opposed to not using it at all (in one instance or all the time)? How many girls under sixteen or so are getting abortions these days? And of course, how many abortions are actually sought by victims of non-ex-post-facto rape or incest?

I suppose I also want to know how girls'education about birth control goes now. I'm sure it's much different from my day.

Temujin said...

Just wondering how the public would view abortions if we showed the images of the 'quality' abortions as well as those that don't work?

Ron Nelson said...

Hmm, Dr Braid may be the new John Scopes of Scopes trial fame. That too was case created rather than organic: "[T]he American Civil Liberties Union financed a test case in which John Scopes, a Tennessee high school science teacher, agreed to be tried for violating the Act. Scopes, who had substituted for the regular biology teacher, was charged on May 5, 1925, with teaching evolution from a chapter in George William Hunter's textbook, Civic Biology: Presented in Problems (1914), which described the theory of evolution, race, and eugenics. The two sides brought in the biggest legal names in the nation, William Jennings Bryan for the prosecution and Clarence Darrow for the defense, and the trial was followed on radio transmissions throughout the United States.[8][9]" -- Wikipedia

Lewis Wetzel said...

It is very easy to fit this story to the template "Irresponsible woman kills her unborn child with help from morally blind doctor."

MikeR said...

That's all he's worried about. I think he could afford to fly the lady to a different state by helicopter and pay a babysitter while she's gone. Same for everyone stuck in difficult positions.
It's the same issue as for climate change. Does it make more sense to spend a lot of money now to prevent the problem, or a lot of money later to adapt to the results? Judgment call, not a moral dilemma.

Pettifogger said...

From San Antonio, you can get to Ardmore, Oklahoma, or Lake Charles, Louisiana, in a little over five hours. That's still a long drive.

Gahrie said...

One of the women I talked with since the law took effect is 42. She has four kids, three under 12.

I'm supposed to feel sympathy for this woman? What happened to being responsible for her own behavior? At 42 with four kids, she should know how sex works by now.

But of course:

No woman must be made to feel bad about, or responsible for, anything, ever.

Even if it means sucking out the brains of her child while its heart is beating and dismembering it while still in the womb.

Narayanan said...

Why not proceed to scrape every uterus showing up at the clinic doors? why wait to ultrasound etc.? medical/professional ethics or billing transparency and funding ? (note : I am scrupulously not sexifying)

Even if the Dr succeeds by asserting his defense as provided in the law itself as I vaguely understand how does that vitiate the law?

to wit : The entire purpose of the law seems to be : to unshroud and break out the numerical dimensions of the abortion industry and participants.

Let the country or at least TX proceed with eyes wide open.

USSC could [have] base[d] woman's unfettered right to abortion on 9A : I have always wondered why 9A is so ignored by all and sundry. It is the perfect portmanteau.

Did not know/recall Madison was author (did he believe Constitution grants rights? bad on him)

Amendment IX

Ninth Amendment
The Ninth Amendment was James Madison’s attempt to ensure that the Bill of Rights was not seen as granting to the people of the United States only the specific rights it addressed. In recent years, some have interpreted it as affirming the existence of such “unenumerated” rights outside those expressly protected by the Bill of Rights

Amendment IX
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Mark said...

His having performed the abortion in violation of the law should help with the standing problem in federal court.

His having performed the abortion in violation of the law WILL TORPEDO standing in federal court if no one actually sues him.

Achilles said...

I can't believe a constitutional professor thinks this law is unconstitutional. Do you have trouble reading?

As Narayanan points out the constitution is absolutely clear on the federal governments role in abortion.

There is none. The ninth and tenth amendments preclude it utterly.

There is no possible way if you actually just read and comprehend words that you can find a constitutional right to have an abortion in the constitution.

It just isn't there.

And hoping that 5 of the Pharisees in black robes can canoodle their way into finding that "right" just undermines the entire judicial system.

MountainMan said...

I am confused.

Glenn posted this article from the Daily Mail yesterday: Muslim ER Doctor Charged with Genital Mutilation of Nine Girls.

So a Federal court judged ruled in 2018 that the1996 Federal law banning genital mutilation was unconstitutional because medical procedures can only be regulated at the state level.

This raises questions:
1. Is this then based in part on Jacobson v Massachusetts?
2. If this is true, how did we get Roe v Wade? Wouldn't this ruling also mean that abortion can only be regulated as well at the state level?
3. Does this decision also mean that Biden's vaccine mandate is also unconstitutional since forcing people to obtain a medical procedure can only be done at the state level?

Critter said...

The aborted baby, who may have grown up to marry your daughter or son, had no comment. And no doctor caring for him or her. After all, he or she is an inconvenience just like using birth control. We can’t have inconveniences, can we? Besides, we have a constitutional right to unprotected sex and ignoring the potential baby for more than six weeks.

How can we expect our experiment in self-governance to succeed if that is the level of consciousness of our citizens? We live in a society where one ill-spoken word can end a career but many killed babies make one a rich doctor.

Leland said...

It’s only 6 hours to Carlsbad, NM and 7 hours to the Arkansas side of Texarkana. Departing the merits of travel time may seem unimportant, but how much time was spent waiting for this woman’s pregnancy to develop a fetal heartbeat? Was that in the woman’s medical best interest? I wonder if this doctor was committing malpractice and delaying treatment to make a political point.

Lucien said...

So Ann thinks “lawsuits I hope will succeed” equals “defenses to lawsuits that I hope will succeed” when the sacrament of abortion is at risk?
It’s a good thing she doesn’t believe in torturing language to serve an ideological end or a narrative.
(BTW, I am pro-abortion.)

Narayanan said...

Help me out here if My point is not clear :
is the Lawyerly position that 9A pertains only to Federal Courts?

9A allows/empowers any individuals to assertively challenge laws as violative of rights
- universal automatic standing in all jurisdictions
- State and Federal etc.

Team Roe could have used it in TX itself
- going Federal was a war waged for different ends
- note her team kept her enceinte for visual effects [- in an advanced stage of pregnancy; "was big with child"; "was great with child". gravid, with child, expectant, great, large, big, heavy.]

BUMBLE BEE said...

In the interest of fairness, how about we let everyone who wishes they weren't born kill their mothers? You know, like trannies born into the "wrong" sexual apparatus. Seems Fair.

Yancey Ward said...

"Should he become the defendant in one of these citizen suits to enforce the law, he'll have an opportunity to assert the constitutional right as a defense, and I hope that defense will succeed."

But is there a constitutional right to perform an abortion?

Daniel12 said...

Jaime wants to know statistically how many women would have their rights violated by this law. If only some people have their rights violated, guess it's fine?

Gilbar I guess points out that because illegal abortions are incredibly unsafe for the mother, legal abortions (which are incredibly safe, far safer than pregnancy) are also unsafe. Hmmm.

Gilbar also points out that because someone set up a business based on a constitutional right, that person is somehow biased. Hmmm.

Tina Trent said...

Ann: I ran the statewide abortion rights coalition for several years. 40 membership groups, about a dozen of them local branches of wealthy nationals. I was sincere and hardworking and dedicated.

With the exception of one feminist clinic’s participants, very, very few of these people had ever set foot in, let alone worked in an abortion clinic. At the national level I’d put that number at zero — excepting being there as patients. Three of my peers and/or volunteers took such jobs. One, a troubled true believer, covered up for a doctor running an illegal clinic; one quit in tears after being subjected to grotesque racial abuse by the black employees (that would be at the feminist clinic, of course), and the third had a complete breakdown after spending one day counting little legs and arms and skulls in little trays. We’re killing babies, she screamed. She was never the same.

Employees weren’t allowed to call the police when an underage girl came in — often with the much-older man who had impregnated her. So we abetted child molestation — rape — too. Such rules went unwritten, of course. These girls were the frequent flyers and the ones we’d see at 20+ weeks. We made excuses to each other, and I was not permitted to put the subject on the agenda.

Many of the wealthier board members were elitist if not outright racist: for them, in unguarded moments, there were comments made — not inaccurate but certainly prejudiced — about how their daughters would never need an abortion but you know those other types. Many of the professional activists were lesbians, and at least a quarter of the doctors were homosexuals, and they were in general open in their contempt for heterosexual “breeders,” a term used quite frequently. The clinic that did the latest term abortions was run by two gay male doctors and was shut down after live births and other life-threatening medical emergencies.

I have made confession and am pro-life now. Very few pro-life activists are just protesters and even fewer protest at clinics. In fact, it’s generally frowned on to do so. They do attend annual marches in DC and state capitols. The vast majority raise funds for poor mothers, serve as birth partners, arrange adoptions, and find housing and services for new mothers. I think pro-choice people should confront these realities. I will not use names here but would document my experiences confidentially if you wish. There is a great demand for children to adopt.

This is what abortion on demand really looks like. Let’s tell the whole truth. I also interviewed the still-living participants in Doe v. Bolton, which was to be the Roe v. Wade before Roe got to the Supreme Court first. To a person, none of them imagined the industry looking the way it does now. These were doctors and lawyers. They had some very interesting things to say, both pro and anti-choice. Nothing is simple when you stray from the abstract.

Michael K said...

I had an experience similar to the one described by this doctor only I was a medical student. For that reason I am prochoice but with limits. I am OK with abortion up to viability, which used to be 20 weeks. That was the law in California in 1969 when I did a couple of abortions. I was doing my GYN rotation as a surgical resident and nobody wanted to do them so I helped out. Since I operated on a one pound ten ounce baby in 1969 and watched her go home at 4 and a half pounds, I have revised my estimate of viability. I think 6 weeks is too early but 20 weeks is too late. Late term abortion is murder. It is a choice between evils.

effinayright said...

Achilles said...
I can't believe a constitutional professor thinks this law is unconstitutional. Do you have trouble reading?

There is no possible way if you actually just read and comprehend words that you can find a constitutional right to have an abortion in the constitution.

It just isn't there.
**************

But...but...what about "emanations" and "penumbras"?

Like the old Prego spaghetti sauce ad went.... "It's IN there!"

Howard said...

Lock him up. Take away his medicine license.

Big Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Big Mike said...

I fully understood that there could be legal consequences

I am glad to read that. I was a senior in high school when Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote the Letter from Birmingham Jail. Lefty demonstrators would later come to assert a (nonexistent) right to break the law with no consequences because their cause was righteous. That adds to my contempt for people left of center, but if this doctor is really willing to face potential consequences (i.e.,if he really meant what he wrote and isn’t bullshitting) then I can respect that.

Big Mike said...

I suppose someday I will find an abortion advocate who cries bitter tears over botched back alley abortions but who also is willing to track down and shut down the Kermit Gosnells of the world. It’s impossible that was the only one.

Big Mike said...

I understand the argument that the government should not come between a doctor and a patient, but why does that not apply equally when the issue is vaccinations and/or ivermectin instead of abortions?

Lars Porsena said...

You should be able to have as many abortions as you want..except...no federal, state, or local funding for the operation, no tax exemptions for the property, and no activity on or in those properties are tax deductible or eligible for tax deductible contributions.

As it is only an amorphous globule of cells, it is no different than liposuction. You surely wouldn't use government funds for liposuction.

Abortion is used almost wholly as a means of birth control. It is a life style choice. for the public it is like paying for a liver transplant for alcoholics or a lung transplant for smokers. As for those miniscule cases of rape, make an abortifacient available at public hospitals after the incident is reported to the police.

cubanbob said...

What illness does abortion cure? If Texas is serious about this then the Legislature should legislate that doctors as doctors can't perform abortions unless it is done for a specific medical condition that requires an abortion. As for this guy, the set up litigation won't work unless there is also a set up plaintiff.

hombre said...

I get it. Today women have the “choice” to have an abortion or not to have an abortion. But in 1972 when this doc was a resident, having an abortion, although illegal and dangerous, was compulsory.

No wonder we needed Roe v. Wade and 61 million slaughtered unborn babies.

The Genius Savant said...

One, how could he site a constitutional right as a defense? The so-called right is to get an abortion within certain constraints, not to provide one, right?

Second, how does a 42-year old women who already has 4 kids just happen to get pregnant again? Unless there's a failure of her birth control or a broken condom, there's not much room for sympathy.

hombre said...

Michael K. wrote: “Late term abortion is murder. It is a choice between evils.”

Sorry Doc. Human embryology, to the extent it hasn’t been polluted by lefty politics, holds that life begins at conception. If abortion is murder then, it is irrevelevant when it occurs during a pregnancy. I only qualify with “if” because technically murder is the “unlawful” killing of a person. Nevertheless, unlawful or not, abortion is always homicide.

Mark said...

I suppose someday I will find an abortion advocate who cries bitter tears over botched back alley abortions but who also is willing to track down and shut down the Kermit Gosnells of the world. It’s impossible that was the only one.

Roe and its progeny did NOT mandate safe abortions. It merely told the coat-hanger back-alley abortionists that they could operate out of a clinic. For 50 years the abortion industry has viciously fought against any health and safety requirements for abortion clinics, claiming that they imposed undue burdens on a birthing person's right to choose.

Of all the human and commercial endeavors in the country, abortion is the one most resembling the wild west -- completely and totally unregulated. Anything goes. The women are secondary.

Hell, the women themselves aren't even allowed to argue on behalf of themselves in court -- the abortionists have seized that privilege for themselves. A "woman's choice"?? It's not even a woman's voice. It is the voice of MEN -- male abortionists, male boyfriends demanding that women destroy their offspring, male judges and pundits.

Mark said...

What illness does abortion cure?

Functional fertility and pregnancy are not diseases -- they are the body operating in a healthy and natural way -- any more than having a penis or vagina is a disease that needs treatment.

gilbar said...

Daniel12 said about me...
Gilbar also points out that because someone set up a business based on a constitutional right, that person is somehow biased. Hmmm.

ummm Serious Question: isn't that, The Definition of Biased?

papper said...

If this is the way this butcher justifies to himself the killing of innocent babies, there isn't much to talk about. He is a monster. How many thousands of abortions has he done?

MountainMan said...

@Tina Trent: A good comment, as usual. Whenever I read about experiences like yours I always think back to the lesson expressed by the late Paul Fussell in his great essay "Thank God for the Atomic Bomb" in which he addressed those thinking it was immoral we dropped the bombs to end WWII: "The greater the distance from the carnage the easier the talk." Experience is a great teacher.

cubanbob said...

Mark said...
What illness does abortion cure?

Functional fertility and pregnancy are not diseases -- they are the body operating in a healthy and natural way -- any more than having a penis or vagina is a disease that needs treatment."

Pregnancy is the outcome functional fertility, that is the body functioning in a healthy natural way. Abortions aren't ( unless it is endangering the life or health of the mother).

Michael K said...

Sorry Doc. Human embryology, to the extent it hasn’t been polluted by lefty politics, holds that life begins at conception. If abortion is murder then, it is irrevelevant when it occurs during a pregnancy.

I agree and was not clear. Abortion is murder and the choice to allow it is a choice between evils. If you had watched someone die from an illegal abortion you might agree with me but I am opposed to using it as birth control. In a fair world, a woman would have her tubes tied with the second abortion.

Those who go on about "a clump of cells" are lying to themselves.

wildswan said...

Alan Braid, the doctor writing the article, owns the only abortion center open in San Antonio other than the one owned by Planned Parenthood. Medicare/Medicaid are not accepted, meaning that the center charges more than Medicaid/Medicare will pay. Profitable, that way. Braid is an old man who graduated from medical school in 1972, 49 years ago and was accepting no new patients. He came out of retirement to perform abortions so as to create a test case that would defend his income. One sees why he is acting as he does - his source of wealth is threatened. But what about the abortion patients? Has anyone talked to them and explained that they are fodder for a test case? Planned Parenthood (founded by eugenicists for eugenic goals) is providing the lawyers; the Alamo abortion center is providing the (aged) doctors (working for profit); the Hispanic community is providing the bodies and paying for the deaths of members of the community. It's legal and constitutional to have such a situation. But so was slavery.
The issue however is more medical than constitutional. A D&E procedure can scar the womb leading to premature births in later pregnancies and the later the D&E the more likely the scarring. Hispanic and black women suffer disproportionately from such scarring caused by incompetent old abortion butchers and from the ensuing premature births. So it's in the interest of minority women for the state to protect them from these downstream consequences by banning D&Es after 6 weeks.
The abortion providers are outraged at this state interference with bodily autonomy. They are making statements such as this: “These restrictions represent legislative interference at its worst: doctors will be forced, by ill-advised, unscientifically motivated policy, to provide lesser care to patients. This is unacceptable.” and this: "the court has allowed extremist politicians to interfere in private health care decisions that should stay between patients and their physicians,” and this: “In no other area of medicine would politicians consider preventing doctors from using a standard procedure. It should never be a crime for doctors to use their best medical judgment and follow the most current science." But politicians in the vaccination arena are placing restrictions on treatments and are interfering between patients and physicians. Abortion law developed from vaccination law; it remains to ne seen whether the developments in abortion law apply to vaccination law. I think there's constitutional conflict needing a resolution on new principles.

Bender said...

I agree and was not clear. Abortion is murder and the choice to allow it is a choice between evils.... Those who go on about "a clump of cells" are lying to themselves.

That's essentially an "abortion as justifiable homicide" position.

I disagree, but I can respect that this is at least an intellectually honest position, unlike the Supreme Court and others for whom the prenatal living human being is a legal non-entity (like Dred Scott) that is only, in Roe's words, "potential life."

Tina Trent said...

All you people keep fighting these tiny little fights. Meanwhile we are losing everything.

OK.

hawkeyedjb said...

Tina Trent said...

"Very few pro-life activists are just protesters and even fewer protest at clinics. The vast majority raise funds for poor mothers, serve as birth partners, arrange adoptions, and find housing and services for new mothers."

This describes my very pro-life brother-in-law and sister-in-law. I doubt they've ever been to anything that could be called a 'protest.' They are loving people who have helped find homes for babies and adopted two themselves. They should be the stereotype, not the loud types who make the news, for they are more representative of the pro-life mindset in America.

ga6 said...

He needed his five minutes of fame and now a baby is dead.

Yancey Ward said...

Great comment, Tina.

stephen cooper said...

Ugly old man kills perfectly formed baby.

You all know that is exactly what this is about.

Quaestor said...

If Alan Baird prevails I'm going to Costa Rica to buy a machine gun. If the implicit right to abortion isn't subject to common-sense restrictions, then the explicit right to keep and bear arms can't be restricted either.

Misinforminimalism said...

"I became a murderer after witnessing three failed suicide attempts, one of which was really grizzly."

Tina Trent said...

In 2018, 13% of abortions were medical (pill not procedure, but not emergency contraception).

By 2013, 1 in 11 women of childbearing age had taken emergency contraception ( morning after pill).

By 2018, 38.6 abortions were medical, not surgical.

Between 2009 and 2017, all types of abortion dropped significantly.

In 2019, 77.7% of abortion occurred before 9 weeks gestation, or 11 weeks since last period, many early in that time. We can now detect pregnancy extremely early, often in time for some emergency contraception. By 12 weeks gestation, the standard of most of Europe, more than 92% of abortions have been performed.

.2% of abortions are performed on children under 15. There are abortion doctors who report these abortions to police as they should, one in Alabama who was livid about others not doing it. He said these girls, mostly minority, were his latest term patients, up to 20+ weeks, and that we just send them home with their abusers. Clearly we need to address this issue.

Note that we have never proven that the pill prevents an egg and sperm from forming an ovum. Some women may have passed literally hundreds of fertilized eggs, or humans, as Catholics call them, without even knowing it because the pill prevents implantation of the fertilized egg. Doctors lie to women all the time about this, and the way they legally and medically avoid telling such a wide undesired truth is defining a pregnancy only as an implanted ovum. Women who think they are preventing fertilization with the pill have every right to know this. I got in no small amount of trouble for telling the truth about this at a committee meeting.

It always takes two to tango. And the best way to prevent abortion is teaching our sons to say “let’s get married and have the baby.”