On April 7, Lizelle Herrera of Texas was arrested and charged with murder after police claimed she “intentionally and knowingly caused the death of an individual by self-induced abortion,” according to NBC News. It’s still unclear as to whether Herrera had the procedure or if she helped someone obtain an abortion, the outlet noted.
Texas has been at the center of the abortion rights controversy over the last year given the state’s stringent 6-week abortion ban. The policy, which is commonly referred to as Senate Bill 8, prohibits pregnant women from undergoing an abortion as early as six weeks into pregnancy. The law also allows for private citizens to sue an abortion facility and even healthcare officials who attempt to perform the procedure. Texans in violation of Senate Bill 8 could face hefty fines of up to $10,000.
On April 10, District Attorney Gocha Allen Ramirez said that he would be filing a motion to dismiss the charges against Herrera.
“In reviewing applicable Texas law, it is clear that Ms. Herrera cannot and should not be prosecuted for the allegation against her,” Ramirez said in a statement.
“Prosecutorial discretion rests with the District Attorney’s office, and in the State of Texas, a prosecutor’s oath is to do justice. Following that oath, the only correct outcome to this matter is to immediately dismiss the indictment against Ms. Herrera,” he added.
MADAMENOIRE previously reported that pro-abortion activists warned of the risks of tightening up on abortions and alternative methods like the abortion pill, which skyrocketed after Senate Bill 8 was enacted. Requests for abortion pills jumped by nearly 1,200 percent after the legislation was passed, with an average of 37.1 daily requests.
Women living in states with strict abortion laws are now turning to the abortion pill as an alternative but soon, the loophole could be closed. Back in December, Texas passed a tough law called SB 4, which would penalize medical facilities that prescribe abortion pills by mail or telehealth. Culprits could face up to $10,000 in fines or possible jail time. The strict law also “narrows the legal window for medication abortion to the first seven weeks of pregnancy,” according to KHN.
Abortion pills, which were approved by the FDA in 2000, require a pregnant individual to take two pills 48 hours apart. The medication disrupts the hormones, effectively terminating the pregnancy. The procedure can be done up to 10 weeks into a pregnancy and women often prefer the pill because it can be taken from the comfort of home. Some women living in abortion-restricted states were obtaining the pill and traveling to legal states to undergo the procedure, but Republican lawmakers are working fast to stop this.