As states around the country continue to tighten abortion restrictions in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a Texas county has reportedly decided to put current laws shielding pregnant women from prosecution for suspected abortions to the test.
Who is Lizelle Herrera?
Lizelle Herrera, 26, was charged with murder on Thursday, April 7 after allegedly self-inducing an abortion.
Following days of protest, Starr County District Attorney Gocha A. Ramirez announced plans to drop the charges against Herrera on Sunday, April 10.
However, there are still unsolved issues about the arrest.
Why was Lizelle Herrera was arrested?
Lizelle Herrera was arrested for the “death of an individual through self-induced abortion.”
Herrera was arrested on Saturday for the “death of an individual through self-induced abortion,” according to the Starr County Sheriff’s Office, but the circumstances surrounding her pregnancy are unknown.
At a protest outside the Starr County Jail, Rickie Gonzalez, the founder of La Frontera Fund, a group that raises abortion funds for the Rio Grande Valley, stated that Herrera was reported to the sheriff’s office by hospital employees. “She miscarried in a hospital and supposedly told medical officials she tried to induce her own abortion, and she was reported to the authorities by hospital administration or employees,” Gonzalez added. The Starr County District Attorney’s office, according to Telemundo, submitted a case against Herrera to a grand jury, which indicted her, though the indictment has yet to be made public.
It’s also unclear what statute Herrera was charged under.
Texas is known for having some of the worst anti-abortion laws in the country, yet S.B. 8, the state’s latest six-week abortion ban, enables only civilians to bring charges against anybody who “aids and abets” an abortion, not criminal prosecution.
According to Fox 7 Austin, Starr County Sheriff’s Maj. Carlos Delgado did not explain under what legislation Herrera was accused in a statement.
On Saturday, Herrera was released on a $500,000 bail, thanks to the La Frontera Fund, which is also soliciting donations to support Lizelle’s legal defense. She hasn’t said anything in public.