Lizelle Herrera remained in custody with a bond set at $500,000 after “intentionally and knowingly cause[d] the death of an individual by self-induced abortion,” the Starr County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Friday.
Herrera’s arrest comes seven months after Texas’ SB8 (or the “Heartbeat Act”) went into effect, a law that bans abortions after six weeks, or before when many women would realize they’re pregnant. SB8 — the most restrictive anti-abortion bill in the U.S. and the basis of copycat laws sprouting up in states like Idaho — has faced legal challenges since it went into effect Sept. 1, 2021, but the Texas Supreme Court ultimately ruled in favor of the bill in March. The U.S. Supreme Court also declined to block the law, despite some dissent.
Additionally, SB8 allows for citizens to sue anyone who “aids or abets” in the procedure, a “bounty” of sorts aimed specifically at abortion providers.
The Sheriff’s Office did not provide details regarding the alleged abortion. However, Rockie Gonzalez of the La Frontera Fund — a Texas-based abortion assistance group, told Texas Public Radio, “What is alleged is that [Herrera] was in the hospital and had a miscarriage and divulged some information to hospital staff, who then reported her to the police.”
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Gonzalez added, “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.”
A recent study by the University of Texas found that, between Aug. an Dec. 2021, approximately 1,400 Texas women traveled each month to neighboring states like Arkansas, Colorado and Louisiana for abortions.
Show up in support of Lizelle Herrera who is being wrongfully charged with murder.
— Frontera Fund (@LaFronteraFund) April 9, 2022