A Texas district attorney is filing a motion to dismiss a murder charge against a woman arrested last week in what law enforcement called “the death of an individual by voluntary abortion.”
After a review of the case, Starr County District Attorney Gocha Allen Ramirez concluded that the woman “cannot and should not be prosecuted for the allegations against her,” the DA said in a statement. communicated.
It is not known whether the woman, whom CNN does not name, had an abortion herself or otherwise assisted in an abortion.
The Texas woman was originally charged with murder after “intentionally and knowingly causing[ing] death of an individual by voluntary abortion,” according to the statement by Maj. Carlos Delgado of the Starr County Sheriff’s Office, obtained by CNN affiliate KRGV.
Ramirez will file the motion to dismiss the indictment on Monday, his statement said, but stressed that the sheriff’s office acted in accordance with its responsibilities under the law.
“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. To ignore the incident would have been a breach of duty. their duty,” read Ramirez’s statement.
“Prosecuting discretion rests with the district attorney’s office, and in the state of Texas, a prosecutor’s oath is to do justice. Following this oath, the only correct outcome to this case is to immediately dismiss the indictment,” adds Ramirez.
Calls and emails from CNN to Delgado and the sheriff’s office were not returned Saturday or Sunday.
The woman was arrested Thursday and held in Starr County on $500,000 bond, the sheriff’s statement said. She was released on Saturday, according to the Frontera Fund, a Rio Grande Valley abortion advocacy organization that has taken a strong interest in her case.
The woman’s attorney did not respond to CNN’s request for comment on Saturday and Sunday. Messages were also left for representatives of the Frontera Fund over the weekend.
News of the arrest has sparked outrage among abortion-rights supporters in light of tough Texas abortion laws passed last year. A new law prohibits abortion providers from performing pregnancy terminations after detecting early heart activity in a fetus. A second law signed by Gov. Greg Abbott in September prohibits a person “from providing abortion-inducing medication to a pregnant woman without meeting applicable informed consent requirements for abortions.”
Ramirez acknowledged in his statement that “it is clear to me that the events leading up to this indictment had an impact” on the woman and her family.
“To ignore this fact would be short-sighted. The issues surrounding this case are clearly contentious, but based on Texas law and the facts presented, this is not a criminal case,” Ramirez said.