Woman suing Starr County after being jailed for abortion holds news conference

STARR COUNTY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A woman who was jailed following an abortion in Starr County held a news conference with her legal team Tuesday morning.

The news conference comes after a lawsuit was filed in federal court against Starr County and its district attorney's office.

Lizelle Gonzalez, known at the time of her arrest as Lizelle Herrera, was arrested in April 2022 on a charge of murder after authorities claimed she caused the death of a child by "self-induced abortion."

Last week, ValleyCentral reported that Gonzalez filed a lawsuit in federal court against the county, Starr County District Attorney Gocha Allen Ramirez and Assistant District Attorney Alexandria Lynn Barrera.

Gonzalez sat beside her legal team, consisting of attorneys Cecilia Garza and Veronica Martinez, as they delivered a statement in reference to the lawsuit.

"The legal basis of Ms. Gonzalez's lawsuit is not about her reproductive rights," said Garza. "The legal basis of this lawsuit is the unconstitutional violation of her basic civil rights when she arrested and charged with a crime that does not exist in the State of Texas."

Left to right: Veronica Martinez, Cecilia Garza, Lizelle Gonzalez (Photo: Emiliano Pena)
Texas prosecutor is fined for allowing murder charges against a woman who self-managed an abortion

Garza cited the Texas Penal Code, stating "This chapter does not apply to the death of the unborn child if the conduct charged is conduct committed by the mother of the unborn child."

Garza continued by stating that Gonzalez made a personal decision, which did not violate any laws in the state of Texas.

Gonzalez did not have any previous issues with the law, until she was arrested on charges of murder, according to Martinez. She was subsequently jailed for three days.

Martinez said on the second day in jail, she was transported to a hospital for hyperventilating and also referenced an "onslaught of media attention," after her arrest.

Gonzalez is seeking $1 million in damages.

To read the details of the lawsuit, click here.

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