The district attorney for Starr County, Texas, Sunday announced that a murder charge would be dismissed against a woman in connection with a “self-induced abortion.”
“In reviewing applicable Texas law, it is clear that Ms. [Lizelle] Herrera cannot and should not be prosecuted for the allegation against her,” District Attorney Gocha Allen Ramirez said in a statement.
Herrera was arrested on Friday, according to the New York Times, and detained in Starr Country, a rural county located along the Mexican border in southern Texas. The Times reported that Herrera was indicted on the murder charge after she “intentionally and knowingly” caused the death of an individual by “self-induced abortion.” It remains unclear whether Herrera had an abortion herself or was aiding one.
In the statement, Ramirez said that Starr County Sheriff’s Department “did their duty” in investigating the abortion and added that she understood the investigation took a toll on Herrera and her family. “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,” the statement concluded.
The indictment and dismissal of the murder charge of Herrera took place in the shadow of Texas’ SB 8, also known as the Texas Heartbeat Act, which criminalized abortion as early as six weeks and deputized private citizens to sue anyone who provides an abortion or “aids and abets” a procedure. Last month, the Texas Supreme Court shut down abortion providers’ challenge to the law, allowing the law to go into effect.