The threat to abortion access has underscored the economic hardships and maternal health crisis that Black and brown women face.
by Nicquel Terry Ellis, CNN
Wed May 18, 2022
The first time Kenya Martin got an abortion, she was a 19-year-old college student who felt she wasn't old enough or mature enough to raise a child.
The second time, Martin was a 26-year-old single mom making $12 an hour as a bank teller, could barely afford childcare or health insurance and was in a custody battle with her daughter's father. Martin would later have four more abortions, each time knowing she did not want another child.
Cross-movement collaboration at the intersections of criminal and reproductive justice helped local organizers mobilize quickly
by Tina Vásquez
April 21st, 2022
On April 8, a small news outlet covering Texas’ Rio Grande Valley published a story that sent shockwaves through the reproductive justice movement. A woman named Lizelle Herrera was arrested April 7 by the Starr County Sheriff’s Office and charged with murder for allegedly having a self-induced abortion, which is when a person chooses to perform their own abortion outside of a medical setting. According to her indictment, Herrera “intentionally and knowingly” caused “the death of an individual.” She was held at the Starr County Jail, and her bond was set at $500,000.
In the days since Herrera’s story was made public, there has been a great deal of reporting about whether her criminalization was simply “a hasty error” by a district attorney or a case that should be treated as “a warning” that “foreshadows [a] post-Roe future.” But for reproductive justice advocates in Texas who are forced to navigate some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation, Herrera’s case isn’t merely a sign of what’s to come; it’s a reality that low-income women of color overwhelmingly shoulder. It’s also the inevitable result of complicated, convoluted anti-abortion laws.
by CARRIE N. BAKER
On Thursday, April 7, Texas police in the Rio Grande Valley arrested a woman and charged her with murder for allegedly self-inducing an abortion last January. The Starr County Sherriff’s Department detained 26-year-old Lizelle Herrera in a jail near the Texas-Mexico border on a $500,000 bail bond.
Reproductive justice advocates in the community organized a protest at the Starr County Jail on Saturday morning and urged people to call the jail demanding the release of Herrera. Calls poured in from across the country. By Saturday afternoon, If/When/How’s Repro Legal Defense Fund paid Herrera’s bail and she was released.
Republican state legislatures are creating abortion refugees across America, many writing legislation that ends all abortions in their states,
APR 18, 2022
Republican state legislatures are creating abortion refugees across America. After Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a draconian bill, SB 8, into law last year, empowering bounty hunters to sue abortion providers, those seeking care fled to the neighboring states of Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.
But GOP leaders were ready for them. Oklahoma’s Republican Governor Kevin Stitt on April 12 signed the nation’s strictest abortion ban into law, ending all abortions in his state except in cases of danger to the pregnant person’s life. Now, reports are emerging of Oklahomans turning to the neighboring state of Kansas for abortions.
Apr 13, 2022
Robin Marty, Rewire News
This past weekend, the murder charge against Lizelle Herrera, a Texas woman accused of inducing her own abortion, made national headlines. According to local activists at Frontera Fund, an abortion fund based in South Texas, Herrera’s arrest allegedly happened after she visited a hospital where, while in the process of miscarrying, she may have provided medical staff with information that made them believe she had induced her own abortion. (The charge was dropped Sunday.)
Whether or not Herrera did something to provoke a miscarriage, the reality is that her arrest and murder charge prove exactly what we have always known: Abortion opponents lie when they claim they will not investigate miscarriages, or that pregnant people will not end up in jail because of their anti-abortion laws. Just like Rosie Jiménez, who died in 1977 because she could not afford a safe abortion, South Texans have become the bellwether of the true harm of abortion bans in the United States.
BY JESSICA MONTOYA COGGINS, Texas Signal
APR 11, 2022
As news spread over the arrest of 26-year-old Lizelle Herrera in Starr County, there was immediate outrage and action over somebody being detained for an alleged self-induced abortion. Now that the District Attorney of Starr County filed a motion to drop those charges, one major question remains: how did this happen?
Last week, The Monitor News reported that Herrera had been arrested by the Starr County sheriff’s office for murder after an abortion that occurred in January. The sheriff’s office was alerted about Herrera from an individual at a hospital where she was receiving care. Herrera was being held on $500,000 bail.
A district attorney said on Sunday that the woman “cannot and should not” be prosecuted.
By Giulia Heyward and Sophie Kasakove
Published April 10, 2022
The murder charge against a woman in Texas in connection with a “self-induced abortion” will be dismissed, a Texas district attorney announced Sunday.
Gocha Allen Ramirez, the district attorney of Starr County, said in a statement that, after reviewing the case, he will file a motion on Monday to dismiss the indictment against the woman, Lizelle Herrera, 26.
The extreme move comes after Texas passed a draconian anti-abortion law last year that has forced thousands of women to seek care out of state.
Mary Papenfuss, Huffpost
Apr. 9, 2022
A 26-year-old Texas woman was finally released from jail Saturday after she was arrested and charged with murder for what authorities called a “self-induced abortion.”
Lizelle Herrera was arrested Thursday and held two nights in jail after officials said she “intentionally and knowingly cause[d] the death of an individual by self-induced abortion,” according to a spokesperson for the Starr County Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities say a 26-year-old woman has been charged with murder in Texas after causing “the death of an individual by self-induced abortion.”
By KEN MILLER and HEATHER HOLLINGSWORTH, Associated Press
9 April 2022
RIO GRANDE CITY, Texas -- A 26-year-old woman has been charged with murder in Texas after authorities said she caused “the death of an individual by self-induced abortion,” in a state that has the most restrictive abortion laws in the U.S.
It’s unclear whether Lizelle Herrera is accused of having an abortion or whether she helped someone else get an abortion.
Feb. 1, 2022
By EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS and LEAH WILLINGHAM
The Associated Press
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — If you are Black or Hispanic in a conservative state that already limits access to abortions, you are far more likely than a white woman to have one.
And if the U.S. Supreme Court allows states to further restrict or even ban abortions, minority women will bear the brunt of it, according to statistics analyzed by The Associated Press.