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Tag: texas abortion law

Texas Prosecutor Will Dismiss Charges In Self-Induced Abortion Case

A Texas district attorney announced on Sunday that a 26-year-old woman charged with murder for a "self-induced abortion" should never have been indicted, and prosecutors will be filing a motion to dismiss the indictment on Monday.

Lizelle Herrera was arrested on Thursday by the Starr County Sheriff’s Office and held on a $500,000 bond after the sheriff's office reported that she “intentionally and knowingly cause the death of an individual by self-induced abortion.” She was held in the Starr County jail in Rio Grande City, which is on the U.S.-Mexico border, NPR reported. Now it seems District Attorney Gocha Allen Ramirez is attempting to correct the wrong by asserting in a Facebook post that “Herrera cannot and should not be prosecuted for the allegation against her.”

“Although with this dismissal Ms. Herrera will not face prosecution for this incident, it is clear to me that the events leading up to this indictment have taken a toll on Ms. Herrera and her family,” Ramirez wrote in the post. “To ignore this fact would be shortsighted. The issues surrounding this matter are clearly contentious, however based on Texas law and the facts presented, it is not a criminal matter.”


Read the district attorney’s complete Facebook post:

“Yesterday afternoon, I reached out to counsel for Ms. Lizelle Herrera to advise him that my office will be filing a motion dismissing the indictment against Ms. Herrera Monday, April 11, 2022. In reviewing applicable Texas law, it is clear that Ms. Herrera cannot and should not be prosecuted for the allegation against her.
In reviewing this case, it is clear that the Starr County Sheriff’s Department did their duty in investigating the incident brought to their attention by the reporting hospital. To ignore the incident would have been a dereliction of their duty. Prosecutorial discretion rests with the District Attorney’s office, and in the State of Texas a prosecutor’s oath is to do justice. Following that oath, the only correct outcome to this matter is to immediately dismiss the indictment against Ms. Herrera.Although with this dismissal Ms. Herrera will not face prosecution for this incident, it is clear to me that the events leading up to this indictment have taken a toll on Ms. Herrera and her family. To ignore this fact would be shortsighted. The issues surrounding this matter are clearly contentious, however based on Texas law and the facts presented, it is not a criminal matter.Going forward, my office will continue to communicate with counsel for Ms. Herrera in order to bring this matter to a close. It is my hope that with the dismissal of this case it is made clear that Ms. Herrera did not commit a criminal act under the laws of the State of Texas.”

Stephen Vladeck, a University of Texas law professor, told NBC-affiliated KXAN-TV before the motion to dismiss that homicide "doesn't apply to the murder of an unborn child if the conduct charged is 'conduct committed by the mother of the unborn child.'"

Vladeck later tweeted of the news Sunday that it is a “sobering reminder, among other things, to *always read the statute.*”

"It sure looks like the prosecutors just … forgot … that Texas’s murder statute expressly exempts from its scope a pregnant woman who terminates a pregnancy," Vladeck said in the tweet, linking to Texas penal code.

The penal code states that criminal homicide “does not apply to the death of an unborn child if the conduct charged is:

“(1) conduct committed by the mother of the unborn child; (2) a lawful medical procedure performed by a physician or other licensed health care provider with the requisite consent, if the death of the unborn child was the intended result of the procedure; (3) a lawful medical procedure performed by a physician or other licensed health care provider with the requisite consent as part of an assisted reproduction as defined by Section 160.102, Family Code; or (4) the dispensation of a drug in accordance with law or administration of a drug prescribed in accordance with law.”

Herrera’s arrest seems to exemplify exactly the kind of harm abortion rights activists have been warning of following a toxic Supreme Court decision last December. That’s when the court ruled to allow a Texas ban on abortions after six weeks with the provision that abortion providers have the right to challenge the Texas law in federal court. Many considered it early evidence of the high court's inclination to overturn the groundbreaking Roe v. Wade decision protecting abortion rights.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in a 48-page dissent at the time:

“My disagreement with the Court runs far deeper than a quibble over how many defendants these petitioners may sue. The dispute is over whether States may nullify federal constitutional rights by employing schemes like the one at hand. The Court indicates that they can, so long as they write their laws to more thoroughly disclaim all enforcement by state officials, including licensing officials. This choice to shrink from Texas’ challenge to federal supremacy will have far-reaching repercussions. I doubt the Court, let alone the country, is prepared for them.”


Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos



Why Even Right-Wing Justices See Danger In Texas Abortion Law

Reprinted with permission from Creators

Texas Solicitor General Judd Stone this week told the Supreme Court that people who object to his state's abortion ban would have a chance to challenge it — eventually. But as Justice Elena Kagan noted, the process that Stone had in mind could take "many years," during which time the law, S.B. 8, would continue to have a severe "chilling effect" on a right the Court has long said the Constitution guarantees.

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Federal Judge Blocks Enforcement Of Texas Abortion Law

By Sarah N. Lynch

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A federal judge on Wednesday temporarily blocked a near-total ban on abortion in Texas - the toughest such law in the country - in a challenge brought by President Joe Biden's administration after the U.S. Supreme Court had allowed it to go into effect.

The action by U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman in Austin prevents the state from enforcing the Republican-backed law, which prohibits women from obtaining an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, while litigation over its legality continues. The case is part of a fierce legal battle over abortion access in the United States, with numerous state pursuing restrictions.

(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Will Dunham and Jonathan Oatis)

'Abort Abbott': Texas Rally Launches Wave Of Pro-Choice Protests

By Richard Webner and Julia Harte

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) -Women's rights advocates gathered at the Texas Capitol on Saturday to protest against the country's most restrictive abortion law, launching a series of 660 marches around the United States in support of reproductive freedom.

A crowd of more than 1,000 protesters assembled in sweltering heat in front of the building where lawmakers earlier this year passed a measure that bans abortions after about six weeks, which Governor Greg Abbott later signed.

"Abort Abbott" appeared on several of the demonstrators' signs and T-shirts, while others sported the Texas state slogan, "Come and Take It" next to a drawing of a uterus.

"Our vision for Texas is still rugged and resilient," Ann Howard, a commissioner of Travis County, which includes Austin, told the crowd. "But it's also open and inclusive and compassionate. Our Texas safeguards individual freedoms."

In Washington, D.C., protesters were set to march to the U.S. Supreme Court two days before the court reconvenes for a session in which the justices will consider a Mississippi case that could enable them to overturn abortion rights established in the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case.

In a 5-4 decision on September 1, the justices denied a request from abortion and women's health providers to block enforcement of the near-total ban in Texas.

"This is kind of a break-glass moment for folks all across the country," Rachel O'Leary Carmona, executive director of Women's March, said before most of the demonstrations that the group organized got under way.

"Many of us grew up with the idea that abortion would be legal and accessible for all of us, and seeing that at very real risk has been a moment of awakening," she said.

Carmona said the number of marches scheduled for Saturday is second only to the group's first protest, which mobilized millions of people around the world to rally against former President Donald Trump the day after his inauguration in 2017.

The coast-to-coast marches were set to include not only Austin, but other cities in Texas, a flashpoint in the nation's battle over abortion rights.

The state's so-called "heartbeat" law, which went into effect on Sept. 1, bans abortion after cardiac activity is detected in the embryo, usually around six weeks. That is before most women know they are pregnant and earlier than 85% to 90% of all abortions are carried out, experts say.

Texas also lets ordinary citizens enforce the ban, rewarding them at least $10,000 if they successfully sue anyone who helped provide an illegal abortion.

In the month since the law was enacted, hundreds of women in Texas have driven to other states for abortions, while others have sought abortion-inducing pills by mail or visited "crisis pregnancy centers" that encourage women not to get abortions. Abortion clinics are struggling to survive as patient visits decline and some staff quit.

Abortion rights advocates and the U.S. Justice Department have challenged the law in state and federal courts, arguing that it violates Roe v. Wade.

A federal judge in Austin on Friday heard the Justice Department's request https://www.reuters.com/world/us/biden-administration-urge-halt-strict-texas-abortion-law-2021-10-01 to block the law temporarily while its constitutionality is challenged.

(Reporting by Richard Webner in Austin and Julia Harte in New York; Writing by Peter Szekely; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Daniel Wallis)

New Poll Shows Most Texans Oppose Third Term For Abbott

Most Texas voters do not want to see Republican Gov. Greg Abbott reelected in 2022, according to the latest Quinnipiac University poll.

The survey, released Tuesday, found 51 percent of registered voters in the state do not believe Abbott deserves a third term. Just 42 percent said he deserves reelection. Back in June, the same pollster found 48 percent opposed to his reelection and 46 percent in favor.

For the first time since Quinnipiac began polling Texans in April 2018, more voters disapproved of Abbott than approved, by a margin of 47 percent -44 percent. Voters said, 48 percent -45 percent, that the governor is taking the state in the wrong direction.

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Danziger Draws

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Psaki Bomb Flattens Abbott’s ‘Eliminate Rape’ Idiocy

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday expertly dismantled and brilliantly mocked Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott's promise to "eliminate all rapists," a promise he made to defend his unconstitutional abortion ban on Tuesday.

"If Governor Abbott has a means of eliminating all rapists, or all rape, from the United States then there'll be bipartisan support for that," Psaki told a reporter asking for a response to Abbott's spurious claim. "But given there has never in the history of the country, in the world, been any leader who's ever been able to eliminate rape, eliminate rapists from our streets, it's even more imperative – it's one of the many reasons I should say, not the only reason, why women in Texas should have access to health care."

On Tuesday Abbott lied about his 6-week abortion ban, forcing women to take to social media to tell him how their bodies work.

Abbott claimed the abortion ban "provides at least six weeks for a person to be able to get an abortion," which is false. "That said however, let's make something very clear: rape is a crime, and Texas will work tirelessly to make sure that we eliminate all rapists from the streets of Texas, by aggressively going out and arresting them and prosecuting them and getting them off the streets."

Watch: