26-Yr-Old Woman Was Arrested And Charged With Murder For “Self-Induced Abortion” In Texas

A murder case was dismissed against a 26-year-old Texas woman accused of “self-induced unlawful abortion.” Lizelle Herrera was detained and brought into jail on Thursday by the Starr County Sheriff’s Department after officials said she “intentionally and deliberately” caused the “death of a person via self-induced abortion” in January. However, it was never made clear what Herrera was suspected of doing—whether she was charged of having an abortion herself or aiding in someone else’s self-induced abortion. She was held in the Rio Grande City prison until Saturday, when she was released on a $500,000 bail.

Herrera was caught and served with an accusation on the charge of Murder after Herrera did then and there willfully and consciously cause the death of an individual through self-induced abortion, Sheriff’s Maj. Carlos Delgado said in a statement. He did not, however, specify under what statute the woman was accused. According to Stephen Vladeck, a legal expert at the University of Texas, Herrera is not charged with criminal homicide since she aborted her own foetus. Homicide is not applicable to the killing of an unborn baby if the alleged activity is ‘conduct perpetrated by the mom of the unborn child,’ Vladeck explained.

Lynn Paltrow, executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women asked what’s a bit puzzling in this situation is, what crime has this woman been charged with? There is no provision in Texas that, on the surface, enables the detention of a woman for performing a self-managed abortion.

Frontera Fund, an abortion rights organisation, was among those advocating for Herrera’s release. They don’t yet know all of the specifics surrounding this unfortunate tragedy, said Rockie Gonzales, the organization’s founder and board chair. What they do understand is that criminalising pregnant women’s decisions or pregnancy outcomes, as the state of Texas has done, robs individuals of their sovereignty over their own bodies and provides them with no safe options when they decide not to become parents.

Nancy Cárdenas Pea, Texas State Director for Policy and Advocacy for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice, remarked in a statement that abortion should be provided on the woman’s terms and in the location where she is most at ease. Allowing criminal law to be used against persons who have terminated their own pregnancies serves no acceptable state goal, but may do significant harm to young folks, low-income people, and communities of colour, who are most likely to experience or be notified to law enforcement, she added.

The case against Herrera was withdrawn on Sunday, according to District Attorney Gocha Allen Ramirez’s Facebook post. “I contacted Ms. Lizelle Herrera’s counsel yesterday afternoon to inform him that my office would file a request to drop the indictment against Ms. Herrera on Monday, April 11, 2022. After examining Texas law, it is evident that Ms. Herrera cannot and should not be prosecuted for the claim leveled against her “According to the statement. “After analysing the facts of this case, it is evident that the Starr County Sheriff’s Department performed its job in investigating the event brought to their notice by the reporting hospital. Ignoring the occurrence would have been a breach of duty.”

Yesterday afternoon, I reached out to counsel for Ms. Lizelle Herrera to advise him that my office will be filing a…

Posted by 229th District Attorney Gocha Allen Ramirez on Sunday, 10 April 2022

“The District Attorney’s office has prosecutorial discretion, and a prosecutor’s duty in the state of Texas is to do justice.” Following that oath, the only proper result in this case is to withdraw the charge against Ms. Herrera instantly. Although Ms. Herrera will not face prosecution for this incident as a result of this dismissal, it is evident to me that the circumstances leading up to this indictment have taken a toll on Ms. Herrera and her family. Ignoring this information would be a mistake. The issues surrounding this situation are undoubtedly disputed, but it is not a criminal matter based on Texas law and the evidence given,” Allen Ramirez stated. “In the future, my office will continue to speak with Ms. Herrera’s attorneys in an attempt to resolve this problem. It is my belief that the dismissal of this case will demonstrate that Ms. Herrera did not conduct a criminal act under Texas law.”

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