Texas Woman Has Been Charged With Murder Over Alleged Voluntary Abortion – Mother Jones

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On Friday, police in Starr County, South Texas, charged a 26-year-old woman with murder and are holding her on $500,000 bond, the McAllen site reports. Monitor. The crime, according to her accusers: she “knowingly caused[d] the death of an individual by voluntary abortion.

It is unclear whether the woman, identified as Lizelle Herrera, is charged under Texas Senate Bill 8, which went into effect September 1, 2021. The law prohibits abortion after activity is detected heart attack, at about six weeks gestation, and added a new enforcement mechanism: it encourages citizens to sue anyone who “aids or abets” an abortion, and allows them to collect $10,000 cash judgments from those which they pursue if successful. Many observers, including University of Chicago Law School professor Aziz Huq, have compared this aspect of SB 8 to the Fugitive Slave Acts passed by Congress in 1793 and 1850, which allowed plantation owners to to use freelance bounty hunters to capture escapees and terrorize free blacks.

Since Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law SB 8 last May, he has repeatedly pushed back against legal challenges from advocates of the choice. In December 2021, the United States Supreme Court upheld the law, but allowed further federal lawsuits against it, providing a narrow path to overturn it in the future. In March, a Texas Supreme Court ruling effectively closed that road, meaning it will likely remain in place.

The law immediately began to “cause very real harm to pregnant Texas women,” as my colleague Becca Andrews documented last November:

I’ve spent the past two months reporting from reproductive health clinics for a book project I’m working on, and I’ve seen Texans seeking care in Alabama, Kansas, and Tennessee. The one left with me was a young woman who came to Huntsville, Alabama after traveling to Jackson, Mississippi, where she was told she was just past the gestational limit at this clinic. She had been traveling for almost a week and was exhausted. She told me it was only the second time in her life that she had left Texas.

Zaena Zamora, executive director of the Frontera Fund, a nonprofit that helps pregnant women in Deep South Texas get abortion care, wasn’t surprised by the story. “The day after SB 8 came into effect, we had a caller who had to travel 15 hours overnight [by car] in Wichita, Kansas — she was seven weeks pregnant,” Zamora says. She sees an unprecedented demand for help with travel and logistics. She told me the group spent more on travel assistance just in October than in all of 2020.

Zamora said the barriers faced by Texans who live in the Rio Grande Valley, an area of ​​the state near the border, are particularly significant. “We’re furthest from any state line,” she says. “Generally, the people we help have to travel the farthest anyone else would have to travel in Texas…we’re looking at over 12 hours to get to your appointment.” Many of the people the fund seeks to help don’t have paid leave, and that’s just the beginning – childcare needs to be considered, as well as money for food, housing and transport. Sometimes support from the fund is not enough.

Texas bill is new because it was deliberately structured do not give a challenge Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that established the right to an abortion without undue government restriction. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is currently considering a case involving a Mississippi abortion law that could lead to the overturning of deer. His judgment is expected in June. According to the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute, if the conservative-dominated Supreme Court goes in that direction, “21 states have already put in place laws or constitutional amendments that would make them certain to attempt to ban abortion the most quickly as possible”.

Lizelle Herrera, incarcerated for murder for exercising control over her own body, is now making headlines and making headlines on social media. His case could soon become the rule and not the exception.

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