STARR COUNTY, Texas (KVEO) – A woman has been charged with murder after Texas authorities say she performed a “self-induced abortion.”
Lizelle Herrera, 26, was arrested on Thursday by the Starr County Sheriff’s Office and charged with murder. Starr County is located near the U.S.-Mexico border and the southern tip of Texas.
According to a sheriff’s office spokesperson, Herrera was arrested after it was learned she “intentionally and knowingly cause the death of an individual by self-induced abortion.”
Herrera remains in the custody of the Starr County Sheriff’s Office on a $500,000 bond. The charges come as several other states try to follow the lead of Texas, where Gov. Greg Abbott passed the so-called heartbeat law that bans abortions after six weeks. The law went into effect in September, 2021.
A study released in March showed that from September to December, nearly 1,400 Texans a month were going to neighboring states for abortions. The study from the University of Texas at Austin’s Texas Policy Evaluation Project collected data from 34 of 44 open clinics in Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Oklahoma.
It found that about 5,600 Texans went to the clinics in nearby states over those months compared to just over 500 for the same period in 2019.
Another study led by a University of Texas researcher found an increase in the number of Texans requesting abortion pills from the overseas nonprofit Aid Access. The study, published in the medical journal JAMA Network Open, found that during the first week of September, requests per day jumped to about 138 compared to a previous average of 11. Over the subsequent weeks in September, requests averaged 37 a day. Then, through December, the average was 30 per day. Researchers noted they didn’t know if all requests resulted in abortions.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.