UPDATED 4/10, 8:30 p.m.: Texas District Attorney Gocha Allen Ramirez released a statement revealing he plans on filing a motion Monday to dismiss the murder charge against Liz Herrera in connection to “the death of an individual by self-induced abortion,” NBC News reports.
“In reviewing applicable Texas law, it is clear that Ms. Herrera cannot and should not be prosecuted for the allegation against her,” Ramirez said in the statement.
“Prosecutorial discretion rests with the District Attorney’s office, and in the State of Texas a prosecutor’s oath is to do justice,” the statement reads. “Following that oath, the only correct outcome to this matter is to immediately dismiss the indictment against Ms. Herrera.”
Ramirez said he informed Herrera’s lawyer Calixtro Villarreal about his intention to drop the charge on Saturday. Villarreal declined to comment.
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The Associated Press reports that Liz Herrera’s actions led to “the death of an individual by self-induced abortion,” though it’s uncertain whether she received the abortion or assisted someone else in an abortion. Herrera was arrested on Thursday and is in jail under a $500,000 bond at the Starr County jail in Rio Grandy City, which is on the U.S.-Mexico border.
In 2021, Texas became the state with the most prohibitive abortion laws in the country. A state law passed last year restricts women from getting abortions as early as six weeks into their pregnancy. Since then, the number of abortions has radically dropped in Texas.
“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,” Major Carlos Delgado said.
Women who perform abortions on themselves are immune from criminal homicide charges, per state law. The state law also gives private citizens permission to sue doctors or others who assist in abortions, though the woman who receives the abortion can’t be sued. And because the U.S. Supreme Court still upholds abortion’s constitutionality, medical providers can’t be prosecuted. Still, another Texas law bans doctors and clinics from doling out abortion medications after a woman has been pregnant for seven weeks. These pills also can’t be sent in the mail.