A Texas woman was indicted in March after a miscarriage. She allegedly informed staff at a Starr County hospital that she tried to Perform an abortion. After talking to staff, they reported her to the police. It is not transparent how long she had been pregnant or the time of her search for an abortion.
Prosecutors dropped the murder charges on Sunday against the 26-year-old Texas woman over the alleged abortion. Prosecutors would then admit she had not committed a crime.
Even though the Texas native was free of all charges, the fact that she was able to be convicted without hard-core evidence leaves an eerie vibe in the air for what is to come in the future. According to sources, abortion advocates fear the outcomes for future pregnant individuals seeking medical care in Texas.
No law in Texas criminalizes people who have abortions. However, state law explicitly exempts individuals from homicide charges for having an abortion. In addition, Texas law bans abortion providers from performing the procedure around six weeks into pregnancy.
Starr County District Attorney Gocha Allen Ramirez reported on Sunday that he would be dropping the charges.
“The issues surrounding this matter are contentious; however, based on Texas law and the facts presented, it is not a criminal matter,” He said in his announcement.
Farah Diaz-Tello who is senior counsel and legal director at the reproductive rights group If/When/How expressed her feelings on the matter.
“It should not have happened, and there are clear ways that it could have been prevented…If the health care providers that she reached out to kept her information confidential. If law enforcement pursued this rightly realized that there was no criminal wrongdoing here.” Her organization is taking care of the legal bills for the victim.
It is still unclear what law the Starr County District Attorney’s office thought the woman broke when they initially charged her.
Texas has recently enacted one of the toughest anti-abortion laws in the country. However, unfortunately, the law made only implements civil penalties and not criminal.
The county sheriff detained the woman on Thursday. She was discharged
from jail on Saturday after reproductive rights groups posted her bail at $500,000. However, it was only after her case received national attention that the district attorney’s office made a reversal and dropped the charges.
The Starr County case is not the only example of people being criminalized for self-managing abortions. Diaz-Tello said that her organization had identified at least 60 instances nationwide over the last two decades.
The Supreme Court is maybe expected to overturn Roe shortly. Many red states already have laws that allow the state to prosecute people who provide and receive abortions.
Last year,Texas passed a law that would thoroughly ban abortion if the Supreme Court were to completely or even partially overturn Roe 30 days after the ruling. Abortion providers in Texas could face 20 years to life in prison if “an unborn child dies as a result of the offense.”
Though that law still would not criminalize people who get abortions, it would put doctors and their medical support staff at risk.
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