Lizelle Herrera has been charged with murder in Rio Grande City after a self-induced abortion, the Starr County Sheriff’s Office says

RIO GRANDE CITY, Texas — A 26-year-old woman has been charged with murder in Texas after authorities said she caused “a person’s death by self-induced abortion,” in a state that has the most restrictive abortion laws in the US

The video above is from a previous report.

It’s unclear if Lizelle Herrera is charged with performing an abortion or if she helped someone else have an abortion.

RELATED: Texas clinics’ lawsuit over the abortion ban is “effectively over” following Supreme Court decision.

Herrera was arrested Thursday and remained detained Saturday on $500,000 bail at the Starr County Jail in Rio Grande City on the U.S.-Mexico border, Sheriff’s Maj. Carlos Delgado said in a statement.


“Herrera was arrested and faced with a murder charge after Herrera, at that time and there, willfully and knowingly caused the death of a person by self-induced abortion,” Delgado said.

Delgado did not say what law Herrera was charged under. He said no further information will be released until at least Monday as the case is still under investigation.

Texas law exempts her from a criminal charge of manslaughter for abortion, University of Texas law professor Stephen Vladeck told The Associated Press.

“(Murder) does not apply to the murder of an unborn child when the conduct charged is ‘conduct of the mother of the unborn child,'” Vladeck said.

A 2021 law banning abortions in Texas for women as young as six weeks pregnant has severely curtailed the number of abortions in the state. The law leaves enforcement to private individuals, who can sue doctors or anyone who assists a woman with an abortion.

RELATED: Texas now bans medical abortions after 7 weeks of pregnancy

The aborting woman is exempt from the law.

However, some states still have laws criminalizing self-induced abortions, “and over the years there have been a handful of prosecutions here and there,” Vladeck said.

“It’s murder in Texas to take steps to terminate a fetus, but when a health care provider does it, it cannot be prosecuted,” Vladeck said of US Supreme Court rulings upholding the constitutionality of abortion.

Another Texas law prohibits doctors and clinics from prescribing abortion-promoting drugs after the seventh week of pregnancy and prohibits delivery of the pills in the mail.

Medication-related abortions are not considered self-induced under federal Food and Drug Administration rules, Vladeck said.

“You can only get the drugs under medical supervision,” Vladeck said. “I realize that sounds strange because you’re taking the pill yourself, but it’s being serviced by a vendor, at least in theory.”

RELATED: Oklahoma State House approves bill to make abortion illegal

In Rio Grande City, abortion rights group Frontera Fund called for Herrera’s release on Saturday.

“We do not yet know the full details of this tragic event,” said Rockie Gonzales, the organization’s founder and CEO.

“What we do know is that criminalizing pregnant people’s choices or pregnancy outcomes, as the state of Texas has done, deprives people of autonomy over their own bodies and leaves them with no safe options if they choose not to have a parent.” said Rockie.


Miller reported from Oklahoma City and Hollingsworth from Mission, Kansas. Associated Press reporter Juan Lozano in Houston contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Lizelle Herrera has been charged with murder in Rio Grande City after a self-induced abortion, the Starr County Sheriff’s Office says

Dais Johnston

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