Lawsuit filed by woman charged with murder after abortion against Texas county and prosecutor

Lizelle Gonzalez, a Texas woman who was falsely accused of murder in 2022 for allegedly inducing an abortion on herself, has taken legal action by filing a lawsuit against Starr County, District Attorney Gocha Ramirez, and Assistant District Attorney Alexandria Barrera on Thursday.

Gonzalez, formerly known as Herrera when she was arrested, visited the county’s emergency room on January 7, 2022. She had used misoprostol to allegedly induce an abortion when she was 19 weeks pregnant, as stated in the lawsuit.

During the examination, doctors discovered a fetal heartbeat and observed no signs of contractions. Following an overnight stay, Gonzalez was discharged and advised to schedule a follow-up in four days. However, she returned just 40 minutes later, experiencing vaginal bleeding and abdominal pain. It was at this moment that doctors realized the absence of a fetal heartbeat. Consequently, they decided to perform a cesarean section in order to deliver the stillborn baby.

Gonzalez faced arrest three months later on April 7, 2022. She endured a three-day period of incarceration at the Starr County Jail before being released. The charges against her were dismissed by Defendant Ramirez due to their unfounded nature.

Texas had a six-week abortion ban in place, but it also had a provision that protected women from being criminally prosecuted for obtaining abortions.

Ramirez and Barrera are accused of being aware of the Texas penal code’s exemption of abortions from criminal charges. The lawsuit claims that they intentionally provided false and misleading information to the grand jury, as well as withheld crucial details, in order to obtain a murder charge for the abortion.

The lawsuit claims that if Defendants Ramirez and Barrera had been honest, there would have been no grounds for the indictment and subsequent arrest.

According to the complaint, Defendants Ramirez and Barrera allegedly conspired and deliberately provided false information, misrepresenting the facts in their pursuit of murder charges against the Plaintiff. The complaint suggests that the Plaintiff’s actions were not criminal under the Texas Penal Code.

The lawsuit claims that both the sheriff’s office and the local police department failed to investigate Gonzalez or the events that led to the murder charge.

The lawsuit alleges that the DA’s office conducted its own investigation by relying on reports from hospital staff, which would have been in violation of federal privacy laws.

According to the lawsuit, Ramirez faced professional discipline for knowingly prosecuting the plaintiff for actions that were clearly not criminal.

According to Gonzalez’s lawyers, the Plaintiff’s life has been forever changed due to the illegal and unconstitutional actions of the Defendants. They highlight the extensive national media coverage that the case garnered during that period.

Gonzalez’s mug shot gained significant attention across multiple news outlets, with her name being prominently featured. As a result, the lawyers pointed out that the false accusations against her can still be found online.

According to the lawsuit, the dismissal of the charges did not result in a decrease in media attention. On the contrary, the media attention actually intensified following the dismissal. This was primarily due to the fact that the charges were related to abortion, which is a highly controversial and politically charged topic. The lawsuit argues that the prosecution’s case was frivolous and lacking in merit.

The Defendants’ unconstitutional actions caused the Plaintiff to endure the humiliation of a widely publicized indictment and arrest. These events have had a lasting impact on her reputation within the community. Had it not been for the Defendants’ actions, the Plaintiff would not have experienced such detrimental consequences.

Gonzalez is seeking over $1 million in compensation, which includes damages for emotional distress and harm to their reputation. They also seek compensation for lost wages and potential future income.

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MBS Staff
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