© Reuters. Protesters stand outside the Starr County Jail after Lizelle Herrerra, 26, was charged with murder for allegedly doing what authorities called
RIO GRANDE CITY, Texas (Reuters) – On Saturday, a small group of protesters gathered outside the sheriff’s office in southwestern Texas, where a 26-year-old woman was charged with murder after committing what they call “medicinal abortion”.
Lizelle Herrera was arrested by the Starr County Sheriff’s Office Thursday with a $500,000 deposit, according to Valley Central.com.
According to a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office, Herrera was arrested after it became known that she “knowingly and intentionally caused the death of a person by voluntarily having an abortion,” the news agency reported.
The sheriff’s office would not confirm the report or return a request for comment.
About 20 people gathered outside the Starr County Jail Saturday morning at a protest organized by the La Frontera Foundation, a group that supports abortion in the Rio Grande Valley.
Rickie Gonzalez, the group’s founder, said: “She had a miscarriage at a hospital and is said to have confided in hospital staff that she was trying to have an abortion on her own and that she was told by management. hospital or staff reporting to the authorities”.
The group could not confirm details yet, she said, but said it is believed to be the first arrest in Texas since the new state law took effect last year.
The law bans abortions at the sixth week, when many women still don’t realize they’re pregnant, with no exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest..
Texas law allows private citizens to sue anyone who performs or assists a woman in an abortion after detecting fetal cardiac activity. Individual citizens can be awarded a minimum of $10,000 for successful lawsuits.
The US Supreme Court in December lifted the ban but additional legal challenges are pending.