A Texas man who drugged his wife’s drinks in an attempt to induce an abortion was sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 years on probation.

Mason Herring, a 39-year-old Houston attorney, pleaded guilty Wednesday to injury to a child and assault of a pregnant person. He had initially been charged with felony assault to induce abortion.

Catherine Herring, who has filed for divorce, told the court the jail sentence was not long enough. She said their 1-year-old daughter, their third child, was born about 10 weeks premature, has developmental delays and attends therapy eight times a week.

  • @[email protected]
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    723 months ago

    I came here to comment that this was the first sane abortion-related ruling to come out of Texas in a long time, but after reading the article…

    “I do not believe that 180 days is justice for attempting to kill your child seven separate times,” Catherine Herring said.

    Texas law dictates a civil fine of at least $100,000 and a felony with the potential for life in prison for anyone providing or attempting an abortion. Wild that they’re not using that law here. I guess if you’re going to get or perform an abortion in Texas, you should get someone to use this method rather than a medically accepted one, because the penalty seems to be far less severe.

    • @[email protected]
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      593 months ago

      A white lawyer commits a felony 7 times and gets off with 6 months in jail and a fine.

      Texas just being Texas I guess.

      • @[email protected]
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        3 months ago

        To be fair, this is not “injury to a child.” Injury to the mother without a doubt, but a fetus is not a child.

        I can see how it would be justified to increase penalties for assault / etc. against pregnant people, but a fetus is not a child.

        Edit: I don’t care about the downvotes. This is an awful situation and the penalty he received seems way too low but consistency is important. A fetus is not a child. If you disagree, you don’t get to participate in the conversation.

        • @[email protected]
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          3 months ago

          The child was born premature and with developmental delays. Feels like harm. Kinda the same way if you shoot someone and they die 9 months later due to complications, that’s still murder.

          But I’d defer to a medical expert of course. Maybe they are unrelated.

          • @[email protected]
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            03 months ago

            If you want to go that route, then show me a mom that chain smoked through pregnancy getting in criminal legal trouble.

          • @[email protected]
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            -73 months ago

            I hear you. But the assault was on the mother.

            A fetus is not a human.

            That’s why I mentioned increased penalties for assaults against pregnant people

            • @[email protected]
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              153 months ago

              I also am skeptical about assigning any personhood to a fetus, but in this particular case the child was born, is an actual person, and (perhaps) suffered real harm as a result. That’s an important distinction that I think doesn’t threaten to blur the lines between a fetus and a person.

              • @[email protected]
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                3 months ago

                We can be consistent without saying that fetus’ are humans. Yes, it affected the baby that was born, which is why punishment should be more severe for assaulting pregnant women.

                But a fetus is not a human.

                Full stop.

                There is no line that can be blurred because a fetus is not a human.

                If someone kicks a man in the balls and it deforms his sperm production and his future baby is impacted the perpetrator is not guilty of hurting the baby

            • @SkyezOpen
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              113 months ago

              A fetus is not a human.

              We’re talking about a bastion of christofascism. If they were consistent, they would punish him the same they would punish a woman seeking an abortion. That is, severely.

            • @Stovetop
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              93 months ago

              If the fetus was never born, this argument might have merit, but it became a person and there were health consequences.

              • @[email protected]
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                3 months ago

                It was a fetus when the crime happened. If I kick someone in the balls and it causes their sperm to be deformed and hurts a baby ten years later I am not guilty of hurting babies born later.

                • @Burn_The_Right
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                  23 months ago

                  If you shoot someone while robbing them and they live, that’s aggravated robbery in Texas.

                  If they die as a result of those injuries 10 years later, the crime is then upgraded to murder (possibly even capital murder) in Texas.

        • NoIWontPickaName
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          63 months ago

          Man can you rule on some other discussions for me?

          I didn’t know we could just tell people that they don’t get to talk because you disagree with them

          • @[email protected]
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            3 months ago

            Well, it’s just a fact, a fetus is not a human. I would say I’m sorry if that hurts your feelings, but I’m not.

            It’s just a fact.

            I’m not willing to dispute facts.

        • @[email protected]
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          03 months ago

          If the perp had harmed the post-zygote organism:

          1. One hour before delivery

          2. During delivery

          3. Just prior to umbilical cord being cut

          Would any of those qualify?

          • @[email protected]
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            3 months ago

            Qualify for what? Hurting a human?

            Could the mother have claimed tax benefits for the fetus at the time of the injuries? Could she have had the state recognize her fetus as a human in any other way besides being penalized had she decided to abort?

            If the fetus can not live on it’s own outside of the womb, that’s an interesting question.

            But a fetus is not a human. I’m pretty sure at the three points you mentioned it’s technically not a fetus anymore according to medical science.

            Edit: this incident pulls at our heart strings. I get that. He should be required to compensate and help with the care and medical assistance for the now human child. But no child was injured at the time of the multiple assaults on the mother. We need to be consistent and rational while also having empathy. Calling fetus’ humans does not accomplish this.

    • @dogslayeggs
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      123 months ago

      Because this occurred before that law was passed. You can’t prosecute someone for something that wasn’t illegal at the time they did it. They did prosecute him for actions that were illegal at the time. Whether the jail time was sufficient is a different argument, but the law dictating $100,000 and life in prison is a new law.

    • @[email protected]
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      83 months ago

      This was the Husband, he knows what is best for the sandwich maker. Texas agrees that men know best, unless they are doctors or use science in any way.

    • Xhieron
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      3 months ago

      This is actually a really fascinating text, historically and theologically. Whether you’re religious or not, the society that produced this text–like our society–had an interest in preserving families. It did not want bastards who would be dependent on community resources. So it enlisted the priests to superstition away jealous husbands. Are you just so sure she’s a cheating whore? Well have her drink this magic poison, and if she is she’ll never have kids! Spooky. If she’s not, then nothing happens. And if she’s pregnant, you’re now game theorying with your worldview: are you about to risk killing your own baby in an effort to kill a bastard? Better tread lightly, sirs!

      I suspect (admittedly with no evidence) that this resulted in the intentionally high burden of proof for adultery being honored more consistently, and on a large scale, it probably meant more insecure husbands reared families, more women were not subject to the draconian penalties arising out of their pseudo-property status, and priests could push families to remain stable.

      • @shalafi
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        33 months ago

        Interesting how many biblical rules are centered on family cohesion in a tribal setting.

        Take the superstition out and look at the context and many proscriptions make sense. Shellfish goes bad fast, pork my carry parasites, etc.