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Starr County DA files motion to dismiss murder charge against Lizelle Herrera

7 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago Monday, April 11 2022 Apr 11, 2022 April 11, 2022 7:29 PM April 11, 2022 in News - Local

Starr County District Attorney Gocha Allen Ramirez filed a motion Monday to dismiss a murder charge against Lizelle Herrera.

Herrera was arrested last Thursday — then released on bond Saturday — after authorities say she "caused the death of an individual by self-induced abortion."

RELATED: Starr County district attorney to dismiss indictment against woman charged with murder for 'self-induced abortion'  

Elizabeth Sepper, a professor of law at the University of Texas in Austin, said according to Texas law, Herrera could not be charged with murder.

“The Texas legislature has decided that people who self-induce abortions cannot be tried under the homicide statute,” Sepper said. “It’s right there in the language of the law.”

There are still details in Herrera’s case that remain unclear. Attempts to reach district attorney Ramirez were unsuccessful Monday.

In a statement released Sunday, Ramirez said “it is clear that Ms. Herrera cannot and should not be prosecuted for the allegation against her.”

READ ALSO: Starr County Sheriff's Office: Woman indicted on murder charge, accused of 'self-induced abortion'  

“That press statement, yes, is quite clearly a statement of error on the part of the prosecutor's office,” Sepper said.

Advocacy organizations have offered support for Herrera and her family, including the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice.

“It created these situations here in Texas where people were confused about what is legal and what isn’t, especially when it comes to abortion care,” said Nancy Cardenas Pena, Texas state director for policy and advocacy at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice.

“I think to the overarching takeaway point is that there is not a criminal law in the state of Texas that can be used against pregnant people who have sought or self-induced an abortion,” Sepper said.  

Herrera’s attorney wasn’t immediately available for comment Monday.

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