NIRH Statement on the Arrest, Charge, and Release of Lizelle Herrera

April 11, 2022
Contact: Kelly Novak, [email protected]

“This weekend, people across the country watched in horror as Lizelle Herrera was arrested and charged with murder in Starr County, Texas, after seeking medical attention for her emergency during pregnancy. While we are extremely relieved that she has been released and charges have been dropped, her arrest and charge should have absolutely never happened in the first place. We are tremendously grateful to La Frontera Fund, Latina Institute TX, South Texans 4 RJ, the ACLU of Texas, and the Repro Legal Defense Fund for mobilizing quickly to ensure Lizelle’s release.

No one should ever face the threat of criminalization for their pregnancy outcome – including self-managed abortion, miscarriage, or stillbirth – and no one should face threats, harassment, or intimidation while seeking the health care they need.

Anti-abortion lawmakers know all too well the hostile environment they create with draconian, cruel abortion restrictions and bans that lead to criminalization of pregancy outcomes and the disproportionate harm this does to Black communities and communities of color. We call on elected representatives to act on their imperative to pass laws and policies that explicitly protect and expand access to reproductive health care – including abortion – and decriminalize self-managed abortion and other pregnancy outcomes.”


The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) is an advocacy group that works directly with state and local reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations and allied groups to protect and advance access to reproductive healthcare. For more than 40 years, NIRH has been partnering with communities to build coalitions, launch campaigns, and successfully advocate for policy change. NIRH’s strategy is to go on the offensive and focus on communities where change is needed, so the fabric of reproductive freedom becomes harder to tear apart.