RIO GRANDE CITY, Texas — A 26-year-old lady has been charged with homicide in Texas after authorities mentioned she precipitated “the demise of a person by self-induced abortion,” in a state that has probably the most restrictive abortion legal guidelines within the U.S.
It’s unclear whether or not Lizelle Herrera is accused of getting an abortion or whether or not she helped another person get an abortion.
Herrera was arrested Thursday and remained jailed Saturday on a $500,000 bond within the Starr County jail in Rio Grande Metropolis, on the U.S.-Mexico border, sheriff’s Maj. Carlos Delgado mentioned in an announcement.
“Herrera was arrested and served with an indictment on the cost of Homicide after Herrera did then and there deliberately and knowingly trigger the demise of a person by self-induced abortion,” Delgado mentioned.
Delgado didn’t say beneath what regulation Herrera has been charged. He mentioned no different info might be launched till at the very least Monday as a result of the case stays beneath investigation.
Texas regulation exempts her from a legal murder cost for aborting her personal being pregnant, College of Texas regulation professor Stephen Vladeck advised The Related Press.
“(Murder) doesn’t apply to the homicide of an unborn baby if the conduct charged is ‘conduct dedicated by the mom of the unborn baby,’” Vladeck mentioned.
A 2021 state regulation that bans abortions in Texas for girls who’re as early as six weeks pregnant has sharply curtailed the variety of abortions within the state. The regulation leaves enforcement to non-public residents who can sue medical doctors or anybody who helps a girl get an abortion.
The lady receiving the abortion is exempted from the regulation.
Nevertheless, some states nonetheless have legal guidelines that criminalize self-induced abortions “and there have been a handful of prosecutions right here and there over time,” Vladeck mentioned.
“It’s homicide in Texas to take steps that terminate a fetus, however when a medical supplier does it, it may’t be prosecuted” as a result of U.S. Supreme Courtroom rulings upholding the constitutionality of abortion, Vladeck mentioned.
Lynn Paltrow, the manager director of Nationwide Advocates for Pregnant Girls additionally famous the state regulation exemption.
“What’s a bit mysterious on this case is, what crime has this lady been charged with?” Paltrow mentioned. “There isn’t any statute in Texas that, even on its face, authorizes the arrest of a girl for a self-managed abortion.”
One other Texas regulation prohibits medical doctors and clinics from prescribing abortion-inducing medicines after the seventh week of being pregnant and prohibits supply of the drugs by mail.
Medicine abortions usually are not thought of self-induced beneath federal Meals and Drug Administration laws, Vladeck mentioned.
“You possibly can solely obtain the medicine beneath medical supervision,” in response to Vladeck. “I understand this sounds bizarre as a result of you’re taking the capsule your self, however it’s beneath a suppliers’ at the very least theoretical care.”
In Rio Grande Metropolis on Saturday the abortion rights group Frontera Fund referred to as for Herrera’s launch.
“We don’t but know all the small print surrounding this tragic occasion,” mentioned Rockie Gonzales, founder and board chair of of the group.
“What we do know is that criminalizing pregnant individuals’s selections or being pregnant outcomes, which the state of Texas has executed, takes away individuals’s autonomy over their very own our bodies, and leaves them with no protected choices after they select to not grow to be a father or mother,” Gonzalez mentioned.
Nancy Cárdenas Peña, Texas State Director for Coverage and Advocacy for the Nationwide Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice, mentioned in an announcement that abortion needs to be obtainable on the lady’s personal phrases the place she feels most snug.
“Permitting legal regulation for use in opposition to individuals who have ended their very own pregnancies serves no affordable state function, however could trigger nice hurt to younger individuals, individuals with decrease incomes, and communities of shade, who’re most definitely to come across or be reported to regulation enforcement,” Peña mentioned.
Miller reported from Oklahoma Metropolis and Hollingsworth reported from Mission, Kansas. Related Press reporter Juan Lozano in Houston contributed to this report.