Apologize if someone has already noted this. From Mz Magazine:
On Thursday, April 7, Texas police arrested a woman and charged her with murder for allegedly self-inducing an abortion using pills. The woman, 26-year old Lizelle Herrera who lives near the Texas-Mexico border, is being held in Starr County jail on a $500,000 bond.
When I first heard of this, my initial response was to think of an old quote that I hold dear:
How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.
From Doctor Martin Luther King Jr., in Letter from a Birmingham Jail
So — why care?
When I was a Baby Pro-Choice Activist, one of the things that got me over my Maleness and listening (at least a bit!) was the stories people would tell about their experiences with Abortions. Espcially when those Abortions were, shall we say, proscribed and constrained via Dr. King’s “unjust laws.” So-called “back alley abortions” were far from the only experience; coat-hangers, a useful symbol of a far more complex, and historically deep, process.
This cemented in my mind that Abortion is Moral, is Ethical. To debate its rightness in the face of all that we inflict upon those society identifies as Female, is horrifically unjust and a perversion Especiallyall right to self-identity and freedom. It locks them away in invisible chains, forcing them to do more, just to make it by — and silences them from communicating this unjustness, in many ways.
In that light: I do not know Mz. Herrera’s story. I do know that being arrested for murder, via self-inducing an abortion, is on this society’s face an unjust law. I do not discount, for a moment, that they targeted a Woman of Color, and slapped a half-million dollar bail on her.
I also note this arrest happens, even though the already-horrific Texas Legislature has been too cowardly to make taking the pills she took, a direct crime:
Texas does not have a law that makes self-inducing an abortion a crime (three states do—Oklahoma, South Carolina and Nevada).
So it would not shock me to find at this was a purely political move, designed to promote fear in people who’s biology allows them to reproduce, and their allies. A move to present this kind of Reproductive Rights as a “clear and present danger,” spurring on media attention and allowing this shameful Texas GOP to fig-leaf it, to use it as a “story” to install future restrictions on those Rights.
And, of course, to make all the political hay they can around that activity, as they have for months now.
It is beyond shameful to use this person as a “test case” in this way.
This is yet another in a long series of signs that the anti-choice, anti-reproductive rights forces have decided that any moral failing, in pursuit of “saving babies’ lives,” is allowed. And that they echo the ethical black hole of Mitch McConnell and Ron DeSantis in this, as recently documented on this very site, is not a coincidence.
I don’t have a fancy end for this, mostly because I’m red with rage. But this must be marked, and most be acknowledged for the brutality it inflicts, and threatens more of.