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The Heroes We Need

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The entire anti-abortion Stasi model adopted by Texas is based on fear. The idea is that by turning everyday people into informants, everyone will be afraid to get an abortion or perform an abortion or help someone get an abortion. But what if people don’t show their fear? What if they just shove it in the face of the state? What will Texas actually do? Are they really going to make martyrs out of these people? The answer may of course be yes. But it also may not be. Bullies do often cower in the face of bravery (see Trump, Donald in any situation that required him to do anything at all personally). And thus we have Dr. Alan Braid, writing in the Washington Post about him performing an abortion in Texas after the law went into effect:

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.

Though we never ask why someone has come to our clinic, they often tell us. They’re finishing school or they already have three children, they’re in an abusive relationship, or it’s just not time. 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.

Several times a month, a woman confides that she is having the abortion because she has been raped. Sometimes, she reports it to the police; more often, she doesn’t.

Texas’s new law makes no exceptions for rape or incest.

Even before S.B. 8, Texas had some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country. That includes a 24-hour waiting period, meaning a woman has to make at least two visits to our clinic. Ultrasound imaging is mandatory. Parental consent is required for minors, unless they obtain court approval.

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 daughters, granddaughters and nieces. 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.

This guy is great. It might help that he is old and just doesn’t care that much if his career ends. I don’t know. But this is how you stand up to the Stasi bullies in the state legislature of Texas. More of this, for those who can be brave enough.

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