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Texas Woman Charged With Murder for Self-Induced Abortion

The arrest comes months after Texas enacted an abortion restriction widely condemned by reproductive rights advocates.

Protesters gathered on International Women's Day to demand abortion rights on Union Square, New York City, on March 8, 2022.

A 26-year-old woman named Lizelle Herrera was arrested on Thursday and faces a murder charge in relation to her own self-induced abortion.

Herrera is currently being held on a $500 thousand bond in the custody of the Starr County Sheriff’s Office, according to local station KVEO-TV.

A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office gave a statement to news outlets saying that Herrera’s arrest came about when their office learned she had “intentionally and knowingly cause(d) the death of an individual by self-induced abortion.”

“This arrest is inhumane. We are demanding the immediate release of Lizelle Herrera,” said Rockie Gonzalez, founder and board chair of Frontera Fund in a quote used by Texas Public Radio. “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.”

“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 said to TPR. “We want people to know that this type of legislation impacts low-income people of color communities the most when state legislators put restrictions on our reproductive rights.”

According to the Planned Parenthood website, on September 1, 2021 the state of Texas enacted a new abortion restriction called Senate Bill 8, also referred to as The Texas Heartbeat Act. Under the bill abortion is illegal if the heartbeat of an embryo can be detected, which backers of the bill believe can happen as early as six weeks into a woman’s pregnancy.

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