A Texas prosecutor apologized to a woman that was arrested and charged with murder over what authorities alleged was a “self-induced abortion,” The Washington Post reports.
Lizelle Herrera, 26, was arrested last week and charged with murder before being booked into the Starr County jail.
The local sheriff’s office said Herrera was charged with “intentionally and knowingly causing the death of an individual by self-induced abortion,” without citing what law she actually violated.
Though the arrest was not related to Texas’ recent near-total abortion ban the incident drew national coverage and condemnation.
Protesters gathered outside of the jail to protest the arrest.
Days after Herrera was arrested, Starr County District Attorney Gocha Allen Ramirez said in a statement on Sunday that "it is clear that Ms. Herrera cannot and should not be prosecuted for the allegation against her.”
"Although with this dismissal Ms. Herrera will not face prosecution for this incident, it is clear to me that the events leading up to this indictment have taken a toll on Ms. Herrera and her family," Ramirez said. "To ignore this fact would be shortsighted. The issues surrounding this matter are clearly contentious, however based on Texas law and the facts presented, it is not a criminal matter."
Ramirez also called Herrera’s lawyer to reiterate that she should never have been charged.
He apologized to an acquaintance in a text message reviewed by the Post, which described the incident as a “hasty error by a first-term Democratic district attorney.”
“I’m so sorry,” he wrote. “I assure you I never meant to hurt this young lady.”
Even anti-abortion groups condemned the arrest.
“The Texas Heartbeat Act and other pro-life policies in the state clearly prohibit criminal charges for pregnant women,” John Seago, the legislative director at Texas Right to Life, told the Post. “Texas Right to Life opposes public prosecutors going outside of the bounds of Texas’s prudent and carefully crafted policies.”