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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Pro-choice protesters march down Congress Avenue and back to the Texas state capitol in Austin, Texas, in July 2021. Photo: Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

A Texas doctor disclosed in an op-ed in the Washington Post on Saturday that he has performed an abortion in violation of the state's restrictive new abortion law, which effectively bans the procedure after six weeks.

Why it matters: Alan Braid's op-ed is a direct disclosure that will very likely result in legal action, thereby setting it up as a potential test case for how the abortion ban will be litigated, notes the New York Times.

The big picture: The Texas law bans all abortions, including in cases of rape and incest, after the detection of cardiac activity, which is usually around six weeks — before many people know they are pregnant.

  • The Texas law does not provide any exceptions for rape or incest, and allows individuals to sue anyone suspected of helping a woman obtain an abortion — and awards at least $10,000 to people who do so successfully.
  • The law is difficult to challenge partly because it's unclear who can be sued since it deputizes private citizens to enforce it.

What he's saying: “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,” Braid, saying he performed the procedure on Sept. 6 on a woman still in her first trimester.

  • “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," he added.
  • “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."

Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights — which is representing Braid in his clinics’ pending lawsuit — said in a statement that Braid had "courageously stood up against this blatantly unconstitutional law," per the Times.

Go deeper

Anti-abortion activists' Supreme Court dreams are coming true

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela. Photos: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

This is the moment the conservative legal movement has been building toward for decades: The solidly conservative Supreme Court is about to hear two major abortion cases within a month of each other.

Why it matters: All of this is likely to end with significant new restrictions on abortion and a clear path for Republican-led states to win the next big abortion cases, too — the culmination of a long and bitter fight for control of the judiciary.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Fauci fires back at Rand Paul for slam on tonight's "Axios on HBO"

Responding to charges by Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday's "Axios on HBO," NIAID director Anthony Fauci told "ABC This Week" that it's "molecularly impossible" for U.S.-funded bat virus research in China to have produced COVID-19.

Why it matters: The issue 0f Wuhan research was reignited on the right last week with a National Institutes of Health letter to Congress disclosing more about the research.

Manchin, Schumer huddle with Biden in Delaware to discuss spending bill

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (L) and Sen. Joe Manchin (R) at the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 13, 2014. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) will meet with President Biden and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Sunday morning in Delaware as Democrats look to reach an agreement on the massive spending measure.

Driving the news: Democrats are still negotiating what to keep in the bill and how to pay for it, with Biden saying on Thursday that the party does not have the votes to raise the corporate tax rate.

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