People were appalled that the state jumped to file 'murder charges' against a woman who reportedly had a stillbirth.
Lizelle Herrera, a 26-year-old Texas woman, was initially charged with murder over an alleged “self-induced abortion.” She miscarried in March and was charged with 'murder' after she told a Starr County hospital staffer that she had tried to induce her own abortion. The staffer reported her to the cops. She was arrested and charged with murder. Some reports suggested she had a stillbirth and didn't get an abortion. The charges were eventually dropped but it was a chilling warning about the lengths red states were willing to go to punish those trying to get an abortion. A Texas district attorney's office dismissed the indictment against Lizelle Herrera. “In reviewing applicable Texas law, it is clear that Ms. Herrera cannot and should not be prosecuted for the allegation against her,” said District Attorney Gocha Allen Ramirez, reported HuffPost. People were shocked at the developments and called out the system and the dangerous future ahead for women.
According to Texas law, abortion providers are banned from performing the procedure after about six weeks into pregnancy and from giving patients abortion pills after 49 days from conception. Neither was applicable to Herrera. Texas Law doesn't criminalize people who have abortions and the law also exempts them from criminal homicide charges. While Herrera's charges were dismissed, it highlighted how the state was willing to come down on those performing an abortion and it scared many people. It could also be seen that many avoid seeking medical care in Texas for the fear of getting reported. The law also encourages vigilantism as those who successfully sue people who aid an abortion can get up to $10,000 as a reward. Herrera still had to post a $500,000 bond in the Starr County Jail in Rio Grande City to be released.
Here are some reactions to Herrera's arrest:
There’s a woman being held on $500k bail, facing ‘murder charges’ for an ‘illegal abortion’ in Texas right now. Let that sink in…— Hoodlum 🇺🇸 (@NotHoodlum) April 8, 2022
Does it worry people any woman who has a miscarriage can now be accused of “self-induced abortion” and she CAN be prosecuted in Texas?— Being J Wood (@BeingJWood) April 9, 2022
The lady in Texas charged with murder for an abortion actually had a stillbirth (wasn’t even an abortion). The DA is now looking to dismiss the case.— Stacy Cay (@stacycay) April 10, 2022
Texas arrested this woman, charged her with murder, and sent her to jail after she had a stillbirth.
The health care providers who violated HIPAA regarding Lizelle Herrera’s care need to be brought to justice.— Leah Torres, MD (@LeahNTorres) April 9, 2022
The officers who violated her civil rights also need to be brought to justice.
Now that the DA is dismissing charges against Lizelle Herrera, I hope she files a civil suit against the nurse who turned her in.— 𝐁𝐞𝐤𝐬 🇺🇸🇺🇦 (@antifaoperative) April 10, 2022
The arrest of Lizelle Herrera should be a massive wake-up call for anyone wondering about “the post-Roe” world. This arrest was under Roe. So were the arrests for pregnancy outcomes before this one.— Melissa Gira Grant (@melissagira) April 10, 2022
I’m still stumped as to what the Starr County, Texas authorities thought they were charging Lizelle Herrera with. Senate Bill 8 provides CIVIL liability not criminal. Did someone get a little too ambitious and charge her without actually reading the law?— Tristan Snell (@TristanSnell) April 10, 2022
Sure sounds like Lizelle Herrera should consider suing the bejesus out of:— Tristan Snell (@TristanSnell) April 10, 2022
— the hospital and its staff, for HIPAA violations and possibly for malicious prosecution
— the sheriff’s office and its staff, for false imprisonment and 42 USC 1983 federal civil rights claims
Texas woman arrested for abortion is a harbinger of what's to come. Republican governors and state legislators will need to go farther right than they ever have, throwing women who dare to exercise control of their own bodies in jail. Just the start https://t.co/DGYshJOtbH— Alfons López Tena 🦇 (@alfonslopeztena) April 11, 2022
Lizelle Herrera should not be in jail right now — whether she self-managed an abortion or not.— Erin Matson (@erintothemax) April 9, 2022
NO ONE SHOULD BE IN JAIL BECAUSE OF PREGNANCY, MISCARRIAGE, OR ABORTION. EVER
GOP jumped the gun on arresting women for abortion. They didn't realize Roe currently blocks the state law @steve_vladeck argues they *might* have been eyeing to use for prosecution. They certainly showed their hand. https://t.co/WgadNNav1Y— Rachel Bitecofer 📈🔭🍌🇺🇦 (@RachelBitecofer) April 10, 2022
Whichever Texas prosecutor(s) convinced a grand jury to indict Lizelle Herrera based on a phantom law should probably be concerned about disbarment by the @statebaroftexas. https://t.co/E0pCrhvGeN— Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) April 11, 2022
Not only is Lizelle Herrera in jail because she was criminalized as a poor woman of color — and can’t pay $500K bail! — the entire country knows the details of her private life.— AWKWORD (@AWKWORDrap) April 9, 2022
This is what happens in a society completely confused about right and wrong, and crime and punishment
Related: if you take an abortion pill in Texas and have to go to the hospital never ever confess. Not to a cop, not to a doctor, not to a social worker. There’s no way medically to tell you took it. (Not blaming this woman whatsoever, she was in the hospital and likely terrified) https://t.co/wZnDNrKGSP— Kate Willett (@katewillett) April 9, 2022
The Handmaid’s Tale was a warning for everyone.— MaggieMay 🇨🇦🇪🇺🇮🇪 (@CailinasEirinn) April 9, 2022
Texas is now Gilead.
“Texas Woman Charged With Murder for ‘Illegal Abortion’” https://t.co/j55FB8fXF1
Cover image sources: Image source: Starr County Sheriff's Office | Twitter/@RachelBitecofer