Texas News: Murder charges against Lizelle Herrera after alleged self-induced abortion in Rio Grande City dropped

RIO GRANDE CITY, Texas (KTRK) — Charges have been dropped against a 26-year-old Texas woman accused by authorities of causing “a person’s death from self-induced abortion” in a state that has the most restrictive abortion laws in the US

The video above is from a previous report.

It’s unclear if Lizelle Herrera is charged with performing an abortion or if she helped someone else have an abortion.

RELATED: Texas clinics’ lawsuit over the abortion ban is “effectively over” following Supreme Court decision.

Herrera was arrested Thursday and jailed on $500,000 bail on Saturday at the Starr County Jail in Rio Grande City on the U.S.-Mexico border, Sheriff’s Maj. Carlos Delgado said in a statement.


As ABC13 also reported, Herrera is out on bail, according to the Frontera Fund.

“Herrera was arrested and charged with murder after Herrera, at that time and there, willfully and knowingly caused the death of a person by self-induced abortion,” Delgado said.

Delgado did not say what law Herrera was charged under. He said no further information will be released until at least Monday as the case is still under investigation.

But on Sunday, the local district attorney announced the decision to drop the charges.

The following is part of a statement from District Attorney Gocha Allen Ramirez.

“I have contacted Ms. Lizelle Herrera’s attorney to advise him that my office will be filing a motion to dismiss the charges against Ms. Herrera on Monday, April 11, 2022. Upon reviewing applicable Texas law, it is clear that Ms. Herrera cannot and should not be prosecuted for the allegations made against her. Going forward, my office will continue to communicate with Ms. Herrera’s attorney to bring this matter to a close. I hope that with the dismissal of this case it is clear that Ms. Herrera has not committed a crime under the laws of the State of Texas.”

A 2021 law banning abortions in Texas for women as young as six weeks pregnant has severely curtailed the number of abortions in the state. The law leaves enforcement to private individuals, who can sue doctors or anyone who assists a woman with an abortion.

RELATED: Texas now bans medical abortions after 7 weeks of pregnancy

The aborting woman is exempt from the law.

However, some states still have laws criminalizing self-induced abortions, “and there have been a handful of prosecutions here and there over the years,” Stephen Vladeck, a law professor at the University of Texas, told The Associated Press.

“It’s murder in Texas to take steps to terminate a fetus, but when a health care provider does it, it cannot be prosecuted,” Vladeck said of US Supreme Court rulings upholding the constitutionality of abortion.

Another Texas law prohibits doctors and clinics from prescribing abortion-promoting drugs after the seventh week of pregnancy and prohibits delivery of the pills in the mail.

Medication-related abortions are not considered self-induced under federal Food and Drug Administration rules, Vladeck said.

“You can only get the drugs under medical supervision,” Vladeck said. “I realize that sounds strange because you’re taking the pill yourself, but it’s being serviced by a vendor, at least in theory.”

RELATED: Oklahoma State House approves bill to make abortion illegal

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Dais Johnston

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