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Texas Doctor Performed 67 Abortions In Last Day Before Ban Took Effect

Jake Massey

| Last updated 

Texas Doctor Performed 67 Abortions In Last Day Before Ban Took Effect

Featured Image Credit: PA

A Texas doctor has opened up about how he performed 67 abortions on the last day before a controversial new law came into effect.

The state's new law, known as SB8, prohibits abortions once medical professionals can detect cardiac activity, usually at around six weeks - which is before some women know they are pregnant.

Before the ban kicked in on 1 September, obstetrician-gynaecologist Jasbir Ahluwalia worked into the night to pack in 67 abortions at the Whole Woman's Health clinic in Fort Worth.

The law came into effect on 1 September. Credit: PA
The law came into effect on 1 September. Credit: PA

Speaking to VICE, the 83-year-old said: "Nobody cared for their own welfare. The workers - they want to take care of the patients. That was an amazing, amazing attitude I saw for the first time in all these 50 years of practice of medicine.

"We were joking, 'There was plenty of food in the break room' - nobody would go. They wanted to take care of every patient, bring them in, move and move and move. I saw tremendous, tremendous teamwork that night.

"This was like, 'We're going to fight a war.' This is a war against the politicians, and we're going to fight and win. We're not going to turn around anybody.

"And it went on by the book. We did not take any shortcuts. Everything was done properly. I was really amazed."

Now Dr Ahluwalia's daily livelihood has been turned on its head, as the vast majority of abortions typically occur after six weeks.

Speaking about returning to work on the first day of the ban, he said: "You couldn't imagine the difference between night and day.

"And there's nothing we can do about it. It's a law, it's in effect, we have to observe it.

"So it was a very sad, hollow feeling. Is this what we're dealing with? Is it really true? Is it a dream that we have an empty clinic and patients are calling in and we cannot take care of them?

"Basically, I'm still a surgeon and I cannot do surgeries.

"Wow. Is that so? Who decided that? Not the medical board. Not the doctors. But some crazy politicians."

The new law is also unusual in terms of enforcement, with citizens empowered to sue anyone who 'aids and abets' an illegal abortion.

The new law is controversial and divisive. Credit: PA
The new law is controversial and divisive. Credit: PA

Under the so-called Texas Heartbeat Act, a person could bring a lawsuit - even if they had no connection to the woman getting an abortion - and be entitled to at least $10,000 (£7,000) in damages if they prevailed in court.

Last week, the US Justice Department filed a lawsuit in Texas asking a federal judge to declare that the law is invalid because it unlawfully infringes on the constitutional rights of women.

The department also asked for the enforcement of the law to be stopped in the jurisdiction while it decides the case.

Topics: Doctor, Interesting, US News, abortion, Health

Jake Massey
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