The murder charge against 26-year-old Lizelle Herrera who was accused of performing a “self-induced abortion” has been dropped.
“In reviewing applicable Texas law, it is clear that Ms. Herrera cannot and should not be prosecuted for the allegation against her,” Starr County District Attorney Gocha Allen Ramirez said in a statement in Sunday.
“Prosecutorial discretion rests with the District Attorney’s office, and in the State of Texas a prosecutor’s oath is to do justice,” Ramirez added. “Following that oath, the only correct outcome to this matter is to immediately dismiss the indictment against Ms. Herrera.”
Herrera was arrested last Thursday and taken into the custody of the Starr County Sheriff’s Office in Rio Grande City, on the U.S.-Mexico border. She was held on a $500,000 bond for allegedly causing “the death of an individual by self-induced abortion,” sheriff’s Maj. Carlos Delgado said in a statement.
A local bondsman posted the bond for Herrera on Saturday, according to The Monitor.
“Although with this dismissal Ms. Herrera will not face prosecution for this incident, it is clear to me that the events leading up to this indictment have taken a toll on Ms. Herrera and her family,” Ramirez’s statement continued. “To ignore this fact would be shortsighted. The issues surrounding this matter are clearly contentious, however based on Texas law and the facts presented, it is not a criminal matter.”
It’s unclear whether she is accused of having an abortion or whether she helped someone else get an abortion.
It also remains unclear under what law Herrera was charged.
Texas law exempts her from a criminal homicide charge for aborting her own pregnancy, University of Texas law professor Stephen Vladeck told The Associated Press
“(Homicide) doesn’t apply to the murder of an unborn child if the conduct charged is ‘conduct committed by the mother of the unborn child,’” Vladeck said.
This comes after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country that bans most abortions as soon as any cardiac activity can be detected, usually around six weeks of pregnancy. Most women don’t know they’re pregnant at that point.
The law also allows anyone, even someone outside Texas, to sue abortion providers or others who help people get abortions after 6 weeks for at least $10,000 per defendant.
Another state law prohibits doctors and clinics from prescribing abortion medication after the seventh week of pregnancy and prohibits delivery of the pills by mail.