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Murder Charge Dropped Against Texas Woman Who Allegedly Had Self-Induced Abortion

Lizelle Herrera was initially charged with murder after a hospital employee told investigators that she allegedly used pharmaceuticals to induce an abortion.

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Officials in Texas have dropped a murder charge against a woman who was arrested for allegedly committing a "self-induced illegal abortion." 

Lizelle Herrera, 26, was arrested on Thursday by the Starr County Sheriff's Department, the Associated Press reports.

“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,” Maj. Carlos Delgado said in a statement obtained by the Associated Press. A hospital had reported the alleged self-induced abortion to the sheriff’s department who in turn decided to press charges.

She was released on a $500,000 bond by Saturday.

It’s not clear  — even to authorities — what law Herrera was charged under

A day after Herrera was released, District Attorney Gocha Allen Ramirez announced that the controversial charge had been dropped. Ramierez’ press release states that “in reviewing applicable Texas law, it is clear that Ms. Herrera cannot and should not be prosecuted for the allegation against her.”

They noted that the “events leading up to this indictment have taken a toll on Ms. Herrera and her family,” clarifying that it is not a “criminal matter.”

Ramirez’ office vows to work with Herrera’s council 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,” the press release states.

The Dallas Morning-News reported that Herrara had sought medical care for a miscarriage and may have told hospital staff something they reported to police. The indictment said the alleged self-induced abortion occurred on Jan. 7, 2022, the paper reported.

Last year, Texas passed a law that banned doctors from providing either surgical and medical abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. That new and controversial law also offered $10,000 to private citizens who report that an abortion provider has violated the law. However, the woman receiving the abortion is exempt from the law.

“What’s a little mysterious in this case is, what crime has this woman been charged with?” Lynn Paltrow, the executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women told the Associated Press. “There is no statute in Texas that, even on its face, authorizes the arrest of a woman for a self-managed abortion.”

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