Washington – The prosecutor’s office of a Texas county bordering Mexico announced this Sunday that it has decided to drop the charges against a Hispanic woman accused of murder for an alleged “self-induced” abortion.
In a statement, the district attorney, who has jurisprudence over Starr County, Texas, in the Rio Grande Valley, said that this Monday he will present a motion that “will dismiss the indictment”, whose case had shocked numerous organizations.
“After reviewing the applicable law in Texas, it is clear that she cannot and should not be prosecuted for the accusation filed against her,” wrote the aforementioned prosecutor, Gocha Allen Ramírez.RELATED
The 26-year-old woman was arrested last Thursday on a half-million-dollar bail and charged with “murder” for allegedly “causing the death of a person through self-induced abortion,” the sheriff’s office said on Friday. county.
This Saturday, after strong pressure from groups that defend reproductive rights in the Rio Grande Valley, the woman was released on bail and obtained legal representation.
Her case caused alarm among activists who support legal access to abortion due to the seriousness of the charge filed against her and because it was not clear what law could justify such an accusation, even in a context as restrictive as the one in Texas.
In Texas, an almost total ban on abortion has been in force since September, which prohibits the practice as soon as fetal heart activity is detected, around six weeks of gestation, when many women do not yet know they are pregnant.
However, it is not the pregnant person who can be prosecuted according to this law, but rather the doctors or other people who help her to abort – and never through criminal, but rather through civil -, therefore, this legislation did not justify the accusation.
Prosecutor Allen Ramírez stressed this Sunday that the woman “did not commit a criminal act under the laws of the state of Texas”, in an attempt to prevent her case from frightening other people who may go through similar circumstances.
According to the Frontera Fund, an organization that supports access to abortion in the Rio Grande Valley, the woman was arrested after going to the hospital for a “miscarriage” and giving “some information to the hospital staff, who reported her to the police.” Policeman”.
The prosecutor said that the sheriff’s office did the right thing by “investigating” the case, but that in no case should it issue a criminal charge and that what happened “has taken its toll” on the woman and her family.
Abortion medication can cause symptoms similar to those of a spontaneous abortion, and although according to official data the risk of complications is less than 1% of cases, it is advisable to consume it following the instructions of experts.
However, the ban in Texas has caused many women to seek medication to abort without medical help; or that, if they have the resources and papers to do so, they travel great distances to reach states where the interruption of pregnancy is legal.
In the coming months, the Supreme Court of the United States will decide on a case related to abortion and everything indicates that the conservative majority of the court will change its jurisprudence in this regard, which currently guarantees the right to abortion until around 24 weeks of gestation.
If that happens, 26 conservative states are expected to ban or further restrict voluntary termination of pregnancy.