Mason Herring is a 38-year-old lawyer who was indicted by a grand jury earlier this month on two felony charges. He was charged with assaulting a pregnant woman, as well as “assault – forced induced to have an abortion,” according to court documents, per The Guardian.
Mason Herring and his wife have been married for 11 years and have two young children. In February, Herring said he wanted to be separated and moved out of the couples’ house. He was allegedly having an affair. When his wife discovered that she was pregnant, she told him in a couples’ therapy meeting in March and told authorities that he did not respond to the information in a positive way.
He said that “this would ruin his plans and make him look like a jerk,” the affidavit noted, according to The Washington Post.
Herring’s wife said that he gave her water to drink, one of which she saw was clouded with a substance after she drank from it. She went to the hospital after suffering from extreme bleeding.
“She stated that she then began to suspect that something had been placed in her drink and that perhaps it was some kind of abortion drug,” the affidavit stated.
He continued to give her more drinks over the course of the following week after she came back from the hospital. She saw that several of them had “an unknown substance” inside.
His wife had people over when Herring was set to come to her home in April to possibly show his strange actions. His wife and the two other individuals saw that a drink Herring tried to offer her had “an unknown substance” in it. She also found packets of Cyrux in the trash, which is a medication that has misoprostol — an abortion inducer.
After returning from the hospital, she didn’t drink anything he gave her, but held onto it as proof. At least two of the six water samples she collected later tested positive for misoprostol.
Anthony Osso, an assistant district attorney for the case, told KTRK that Herring’s alleged behavior was “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.”
Osso added that Herring’s wife delivered her baby slightly early, but the child is now thriving and healthy.
Herring is currently free on a $30,000 bond and his lawyer, Dan Cogdell, gave a statement to KTRK.
“We are aware that the Grand Jury has returned these charges,” Cogdell said. “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. Until that day comes, I don’t intend to comment any publicly any further.”
Herring is the first person in Harris County to face a charge of assault-force induction to have an abortion, a more recent statue. He could serve two to ten years in jail and faces a fine of up to $10,000.
Pro-life advocates have expressed the dangers of abortion pills and the possibility that they could be used against women by abusers and human traffickers. This is not the first time that a man has used chemical abortion against a woman. In 2013, a woman’s boyfriend pleaded guilty to tricking her into consuming an abortion pill and several additional instances have occurred in other countries.