IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Texas DA to dismiss murder charge against woman after self-induced abortion

After being arrested on Thursday, Lizelle Herrera was held on a $500,000 bond in the Starr County jail in Rio Grande City through Saturday, when she was released.

A Texas district attorney announced in a statement on Sunday that he will file a motion to dismiss the indictment against Lizelle Herrera, the 26-year-old woman who attracted national attention after being arrested on Thursday and charged with murder after authorities said she “caused the death of an individual by self-induced abortion.” 

“In reviewing applicable Texas law, it is clear that Ms. Herrera cannot and should not be prosecuted for the allegation against her,” said District Attorney Gocha Allen Ramirez, who represents the counties of Starr, Jim Hogg and Duval.

Ramirez said in the statement that he informed Herrera’s lawyer on Saturday of his plan to file the motion for dismissal on Monday. 

Herrera’s lawyer, Calixtro Villarreal, declined to comment on the news. 

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

It is unclear whether Herrera is accused of having an abortion herself or whether she assisted someone else in obtaining one. 

After being arrested on Thursday, Herrera was held on a $500,000 bond in the Starr County jail in Rio Grande City through Saturday, when she was released and secured legal counsel. Activist groups protested Herrera’s arrest and have sought to raise money for her legal fees

In his statement, Ramirez stopped short of blaming Texas police for making the arrest in the first place. 

“In reviewing this case, it is clear that the Starr County Sheriff’s Department did their duty in investigating the incident brought to their attention by the reporting hospital, he said. “To ignore the incident would have been a dereliction of their duty.” 

Herrera’s case comes on the heels of a Texas law passed last year that bans abortions for people as early as six weeks pregnant and permits private citizens to sue anyone who aides a person in obtaining an abortion, including doctors, awarding them up to $10,000 for successful lawsuits. Pregnant people themselves are exempt from being prosecuted under the law. 

Another state law also passed last year forbids doctors and clinics from prescribing abortion medication after the seventh week of pregnancy and prohibits delivery of the pills by mail. 

This story first appeared on