Charges against Texas woman for self-induced abortion have been dropped
The Texas woman arrested for allegedly having an “illegal” abortion on herself will not be charged, local prosecutors said Sunday.
Lizelle Herrera, 26, was taken into custody Thursday in Rio Grand City in the southern part of the state near the border with Mexico after being reported by a local hospital. She was being held in the Starr County Jail on $500,000 bail.
Local District Attorney Gocha Allen Ramirez announced Sunday that his office had contacted her attorney and said prosecutors would file a motion to dismiss the charges on Monday.
“In reviewing applicable Texas law, it is clear that Ms. Herrera cannot and should not be prosecuted for the allegations made against her,” prosecutors wrote in a statement.
“In reviewing this case, it is clear that the Starr County Sheriff’s Department has done its duty to investigate the incident brought to its attention by the reporting hospital. To ignore this incident would have been a dereliction of duty,” the chief prosecutor added.
Still, “the discretion of the prosecution rests with the prosecution,” he added, saying it would be against his “oath” to prosecute Herrera and instead “dismiss the charges immediately.”
Herrera, 26, “willfully and knowingly caused the death of a person from a self-induced abortion,” a Starr County Sheriff’s Office official told KVEO TV on Friday.
It wasn’t immediately known how far along Herrera was in her pregnancy.
The indictment came seven months after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law a controversial anti-abortion bill that would ban abortions after six weeks.
Another Texas law prohibits doctors and clinics from prescribing drugs to induce abortions after the seventh week of pregnancy.
“I really can’t imagine what they’re going through right now,” family friend Romeo Gonzalez told The Post of Herrera and her relatives.
Prosecutors echoed the sentiment, writing: “I realize that the events leading up to these charges have taken a toll on Ms. Herrera and her family. To ignore this fact would be short-sighted.”