A Texas prosecutor on Monday, April 11 dropped charges against a woman who had been arrested days earlier for having an abortion, in a case that has drawn national indignation.
Lizelle Herrera, 26, was arrested on April 7, for "intentionally and knowingly (causing) the death of an individual by self-induced abortion," according to police in the southern US state.
She was later released on a $500,000 bond before a Texas district attorney finally moved to drop the charges Monday, according to a court filing seen by AFP.
"In reviewing applicable Texas law, it is clear that Ms. Herrera cannot and should not be prosecuted for the allegation against her," prosecutor Gocha Allen Ramirez said in a statement.
Nevertheless, Ramirez said, local law enforcement was justified in investigating the case after a hospital reported Herrera.
"To ignore the incident would have been a dereliction of their duty," he said.
It is not clear whether a Texas law passed in September banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy was originally considered as the basis for Herrera's arrest.
But the case emphasized the heightened emotions surrounding reproductive rights in the United States as several abortion laws—both restrictive and protective—make their ways through state legislatures.
They come ahead of a potential Supreme Court ruling that could overturn the 50-year-old Roe v. Wade law that enshrines the right to abortion in the United States.
"We stand with Lizelle and everyone in Texas seeking care, in spite of systemic barriers and obstacles," reproductive care and policy advocacy organization Planned Parenthood said in a tweet. (AFP)