An American gynecologist said this weekend that he had violated Texas’ new abortion law, exposing himself to prosecution that could allow the constitutionality of this text to be tested in court. In a column published by the Washington Post, Alan Braid explains that he performed an abortion on September 6 on a woman who “was beyond the new limit set by the stateConservative from the southern United States.
The doctor, who has 45 years of professional experience, explains that he acted in accordance with his “duty of care“Towards his patient, and out of respect for”his fundamental rightTo be taken care of. “I know very well that there could be legal consequences, but I want to be sure that the Texas gamble, which seeks to avoid the examination of its clearly unconstitutional law, does not work.He adds.
The new law, which came into force on September 1, prohibits abortion – even in cases of rape or incest – once the embryo’s heartbeat is detected, which is around six weeks pregnant. It contradicts the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court of the United States which recognized, from 1973, a right of women to abort as long as the fetus is not viable, that is to say at about 22 weeks of pregnancy. Despite everything, the highest court of the country has so far refused to suspend it citing “new procedural questions“.
Confessions to test the legality of the law
The text in fact includes an unprecedented provision: it entrusts the task of enforcing the measure “exclusively»To citizens, called on to file a complaint against any person suspected of having helped a woman to have an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. This legal jurisdiction has so far made it difficult for federal courts to intervene: Abortion advocates typically sue law enforcement prosecutors, but in the case of Texas, they have not. no one to cite as long as no complaint has been filed.
Doctor Braid’s confession should make it possible to break this impasse. If he is sued, he can challenge the legality of the law and a court can decide. Another legal route has been opened in parallel by the government of Democratic President Joe Biden, which has filed a complaint directly against the state of Texas for violation of the Constitution.