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11th Apr 2022

Texas will drop murder charge against woman ‘for self-induced abortion’

Kieran Galpin


‘To ignore the incident would have been a dereliction of their duty’

Murder charges bought before the woman who was arrested last week for reportedly performing a ‘self-induced abortion’ have been dismissed, the Texas District Attorney has announced today.

Lizelle Herrera, 26, was charged with “intentionally and knowingly [causing] the death of an individual by self-induced abortion” on April 9. However, after reviewing the case, Starr County District Attorney Gocha Allen Ramirez said via a public statement that Herrera “cannot and should not be prosecuted for the allegation against her.”

Ramirez is set to move for dismissal on April 11 but noted, “the Starr County Sheriff’s Department did their duty in investigating the incident.” He added: “To ignore the incident would have been a dereliction of their duty.

“Prosecutorial discretion rests with the District Attorney’s office, and in the State of Texas, a prosecutor’s oath is to do justice. Following that oath, the only correct outcome to this matter is to immediately dismiss the indictment.”

This case follows a string of anti-abortion laws imposed in Texas over the last few years.

One such law, dubbed SB 8, prohibits medical professionals from carrying out procedures after early heart activity is detected. SB 4, signed by Governor Gregg Abbott in September, bans a person: “from providing an abortion-inducing drug to a pregnant woman without satisfying the applicable informed consent requirements for abortions.”

Steve Vladeck, a University of Texas law professor, told Texas Public Radio that the murder charge was unfounded and was not actually supported by the state’s legislation.

“The Texas murder statute does apply to the killing of an unborn fetus, but it specifically exempts cases where the person who terminated the fetus is the pregnant woman,” he explained.

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