A Texas woman has been charged with murder after law enforcement said she carried out a “self-induced abortion.” Pro-choice activists have rallied around the woman and demanded her immediate release from jail.

Lizelle Herrera, 26, was arrested on Thursday by the Starr County Sheriff’s Office and charged with murder.

A Starr County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson told KVEO-TV Herrera was arrested after authorities learned she “intentionally and knowingly caused the death of an individual by self-induced abortion.”

It was not clear how far along Herrera was in her pregnancy.

Herrera remains in the custody of the Starr County Sheriff’s Office with a bond set at $500,000.

“I really can’t imagine what they are going through right now,” family friend Romeo Gonzalez told the New York Post.

A handful of pro-choice activists gathered at the jail near the Texas-Mexico border to protest Herrera’s arrest.

Texas Public Radio reporter Pablo De La Rosa wrote on Twitter, “Protesters mobilized by Frontera Fund and South Texas for Reproductive Justice at Starr County Jail after Lizelle Herrera’s arrest.”

The Frontera Fund is a self-described “abortion fund for the Rio Grande Valley.”

“This arrest is inhumane. We are demanding the immediate release of Lizelle Herrera,” declared Rockie Gonzalez – founder of the Frontera Fund. “What is alleged is that she was in the hospital and had a miscarriage and divulged some information to hospital staff, who then reported her to the police.”

Melissa Arjona – cofounder of South Texans for Reproductive Justice – was also at the protest for Lizelle Herrera.

“I mean, they criminalized pregnancy, basically, and abortion access,” Arjona said, referencing the Texas Heartbeat Act. “And so we knew something like this was bound to happen eventually.”

Last May, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law the pro-life Texas Heartbeat Act that prohibits physicians from “knowingly perform[ing] or induce[ing] an abortion on a pregnant woman if the physician detected a fetal heartbeat for the unborn child … or failed to perform a test to detect a fetal heartbeat.”

A report from February found that abortions fell by nearly 60% after the Texas Heartbeat Act went into effect.

However, a study that was published in March said that abortions only fell by 10% because many female Texans went to other states to get abortions. According to a study, an average of 1,391 women traveled to one of seven states for an abortion per month between September 2021 and the end of the year.

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