Texas Woman’s Murder Charges Dropped for ‘Self-Induced Abortion’
“It is clear to me that the events leading up to this indictment have taken a toll on Ms. Herrera and her family.”
One of the charges against a 26-year-old Texas woman suspected of “self-induced abortion.” has been dismissed by the district attorney.
On Thursday, Lizelle Herrera was taken into custody in Rio Grande City, which is located on the U.S.-Mexico border, and held on $500,000 bail.
Herrera was arrested and served with an indictment on the charge of Murder after Herrera did then and there intentionally and knowingly cause the death of an individual by self-induced abortion,” Starr County Sheriff’s Major Carlos Delgado said.
On the other hand, authorities changed their minds on Sunday and decided it was not a criminal matter.
It is apparent that Herrera cannot and should not be prosecuted for the charge against her, 229th Judicial District Attorney Gocha Allen Ramirez wrote in a statement.
The arrest in Texas, which has among of the strictest abortion regulations in the country, sparked protests outside the jail. Local regulations in many states make it nearly impossible for women to get an abortion, even after the historic Roe v. Wade case was decided in 1973.
As of September, Texas has passed the Heartbeat Act, which makes it illegal to abort a foetus if a heartbeat can be detected at least six weeks before the woman realises she is pregnant. Rape and incest aren’t the only things that happen in relationships.
Critics have dubbed Texas’ “bounty hunter law” because it allows private persons to sue anyone who aids or abets an abortion through civil rather than criminal prosecution for up to $10,000.
That made Herrera’s initial arrest and indictment so baffling; the Sheriff’s Office did not initially make clear under what legislation Herrera was being charged. The only person who cannot be sued is the pregnant lady herself.
“She miscarried at a hospital and allegedly confided to hospital staff that she had attempted to induce her own abortion and she was reported to the authorities by hospital administration or staff,” said Rickie Gonzalez, founder of La Frontera Fund, which organized the protest. “This arrest is inhumane,” he added.
Starr County Sheriff’s Office was involved in the arrest, according to District Attorney Ramirez “did their duty in investigating the incident brought to their attention by the reporting hospital. To ignore the incident would have been a dereliction of their duty,” he stated.
“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,” he added. “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.”
“Going forward, my office will continue to communicate with counsel for Ms. Herrera in order to bring this matter to a close. It is my hope that with the dismissal of this case it is made clear that Ms. Herrera did not commit a criminal act under the laws of the State of Texas,” he explained.