Why was Lizelle Herrera arrested? Murder charge against Texas woman over self-induced abortion dropped 

Murder charges against Lizelle Herrera over self-induced abortion dropped (Image via Starr County Sheriff's Office)
Murder charges against Lizelle Herrera over self-induced abortion dropped (Image via Starr County Sheriff's Office)

Texas woman Lizelle Herrera was accused of murder because of a “self- inducted abortion.” The woman was arrested on Thursday after she violated the state’s abortion law. Police officers claimed that she “knowingly” caused “the death of an individual.” However, on April 10, the Starr County District attorney announced that the 26-year-old will not be facing charges.

Gocha Allen Ramirez, the District Attorney, confirmed in a statement on Sunday that the charges against her would be dropped “immediately” as the incident was “not a criminal matter.” His statement read:

“It is clear to me that the events leading up to this indictment have taken a toll on Ms. Herrera and her family. To ignore this fact would be shortsighted. The issues surrounding this matter are clearly contentious, however based on Texas law and the facts presented, it is not a criminal matter.”

According to the DA, they were made aware of Herrera’s case by the hospital she reported to.

Texas recently passed the Texas Heartbeat Act, which does not allow one to abort when a fetal heartbeat is detected, often in just six weeks. Lizelle Herrera was arrested for the same.

Any individual who gets an abortion under such conditions can be arrested. Those who aid such activities can also be brought in. Plaintiffs can be charged up to $10,000 if they do go against the Act. In Herrera’s case it remains unclear whether she helped someone get an abortion or if she wanted one for herself.


La Frontera Fund protests following Lizelle Herrera’s arrest

Texas-based abortion assistance fund, La Frontera Fund, held a protest outside the Starr County Jail on April 9, 2022, after Herrera was arrested. Rockie Gonzalez, founder and board chair of the Frontera Fund, told KSTX:

“This arrest is inhumane. We are demanding the immediate release of Lizelle Herrera. What is alleged is that she was in the hospital and had a miscarriage and divulged some information to hospital staff, who then reported her to the police.”

The organization also acknowledged that the details surrounding Lizelle Herrera's arrest were still preliminary. They went on to criticize the Texas Heartbeat Act. Gonzalez stated:

“This is a developing story and we don't yet know all the details surrounding this tragic event, what we do know is that criminalizing pregnant people's choices or pregnancy outcomes, which the state of Texas has done, takes away people's autonomy over their own bodies, and leaves them with no safe options when they choose not to become a parent.”

Gonzalez added that the legislation impacts low-income people of color the most, when such stringent restrictions are put on one’s reproductive rights.

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