Texas man faces charges for allegedly slipping abortion drug in wife’s drink

Grand jury indicted Mason Herring on two felony counts earlier this month, including assaulting a pregnant person

A Texas man faces criminal charges for allegedly trying to end his wife’s pregnancy without her knowledge by slipping medication used to induce an abortion into her drinks.

Earlier this month, a grand jury indicted the man, a 38-year-old attorney from Houston named Mason Herring, on two felony counts, including assaulting a pregnant person. The second charge Herring faces is “assault – forced induced to have an abortion”, according to court records.

Texas has one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country, allowing abortions only when a pregnant person’s life is at serious risk, with no exceptions for rape or incest. The law not only makes it a felony to perform an abortion procedure – it also gives civilians the ability to sue any person who helps a person get an abortion.

Herring’s wife alleges that he began lecturing her in March on the importance of hydration during pregnancy and offered her glasses of water. After drinking from one of the glasses, she noticed the water was cloudy. Herring told her the cloudiness could be from dirty pipes.

She started cramping half an hour later and eventually experienced severe bleeding, leading to an emergency room visit. After experiencing these symptoms, she started to believe that her drink had been tampered with an abortion-inducing medication.

An affidavit written by the Houston police department, described by the Washington Post, said that the Herrings had been married for 11 years, and over time, their relationship became strained. Herring in February expressed wishes to separate from his wife and moved out of their home, though he agreed to couples’ therapy. The couple have two children, ages two and six.

Herring’s wife learned that she was pregnant and told her husband during a couples’ counseling session on 8 March. She told officials that her husband’s reaction to the news was negative.

After Herring’s wife returned home from the emergency room, he allegedly gave her four more drinks over the next week. She noticed three had “an unknown substance” in them, and the fourth was a bottle of orange juice with the seal broken.

Herring was scheduled to visit his wife on 20 April. His wife invited two people over to potentially witness any of his suspicious behavior. During that scheduled visit, Herring tried to give her drink, which his wife and the two people noticed had “an unknown substance” inside.

The next week, Herring’s wife saw him slip the contents of a small plastic bag into a drink that he later gave to her. She also inspected trash that he had taken out and saw open packs of Cyrux, which contains misoprostol, an ingredient known to induce abortions. She showed law enforcement videos of both instances, according to the affidavit.

An assistant district attorney prosecuting the case, Anthony Osso, told local news station KTRK that Herring’s alleged actions were “manipulative”.

“It’s premeditated,” Osso said. “What we are alleging Mr Herring did, which we believe the evidence supports, is a pretty heinous act. To do that to someone who trusts you, it’s taking advantage of that trust.”

Herring is scheduled to appear in court again on 2 December. He is out on $30,000 bond. His lawyers did not immediately respond to comment though said in a statement: “We are aware that the grand jury has returned these charges. That said, we very much look forward to our day in court and are thoroughly convinced that we will prevail in a court of law when our time comes to defend these allegations.”

Contributor

Lauren Aratani

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Murder charges dropped against Texas woman for ‘self-induced abortion’
Lizelle Herrera has been released after being thrown in jail last week, while district attorney says this is ‘not a criminal matter’

Ed Pilkington in New York

10, Apr, 2022 @7:54 PM

Article image
Texas abortion providers ask supreme court to halt unprecedented abortion law
Center for Reproductive Rights and Planned Parenthood turn to justices in final bid to block near-total ban

Mary Tuma

30, Aug, 2021 @8:05 PM

Article image
Texas abortion law: federal judge hears Biden administration’s challenge
Justice department attorney argues state ‘resorted to vigilante justice’ at hearing on Friday to consider whether legislation is unconstitutional

Jessica Glenza and agencies

01, Oct, 2021 @4:29 PM

Article image
Abortion ban modeled on Texas law advances in Tennessee
Bill allows anyone – even relatives of rapists – to sue abortion providers and empowers investigators to question any woman who loses a pregnancy

Maya Yang

21, Mar, 2022 @2:47 PM

Article image
Biden administration sues Texas over ‘clearly unconstitutional’ abortion ban
Kamala Harris says women’s reproductive rights are ‘non-negotiable’ as justice department takes action

Adam Gabbatt

09, Sep, 2021 @10:01 PM

Article image
Most extreme abortion law in US takes effect in Texas
US supreme court fails to act to block near-total ban that allows private citizens to sue abortion providers

Mary Tuma

02, Sep, 2021 @1:58 AM

Article image
Anti-abortion bill modeled after Texas ban introduced in Florida
The bill gives citizens the right to sue anyone who helps someone who seeks an abortion, as in Texas

Gloria Oladipo

23, Sep, 2021 @2:23 PM

Article image
‘Outraged, sickened, terrified’: Guardian readers on the Texas abortion ban
Nine Guardian readers share their thoughts on the ruling that bans most abortions – and what it means for reproductive rights

Guardian readers and Rachel Obordo

04, Sep, 2021 @10:00 AM

Article image
Texas governor signs extreme six-week abortion ban into law
Senate Bill 8 bars abortion at six weeks with no exception for rape or incest, amounting to a near-total ban

Mary Tuma in Austin

19, May, 2021 @3:42 PM

Article image
Strict Texas abortion law overturned in major supreme court ruling
Huge legal victory for reproductive rights activists paves way to overturn dozens of measures that curtail access to abortion providers across the country

Molly Redden

27, Jun, 2016 @2:09 PM