EDITORIAL | Protecting the Unborn? Houston attorney gets plea deal after slipping unwitting wife abortion drug

Texas law makes abortion a crime under most circumstances.

Performing or aiding in an abortion that results in the death of a child is a first-degree felony that carries a sentence from five to 99 years in prison.

Even unsuccessfully attempting an abortion is a second-degree felony, with a penalty of two to 20 years behind bars.

So why was a Houston attorney accused of slipping drugs into his wife's drinks in order to induce an abortion given a plea deal that resulted in a 180-day jail sentence and 10 years probation?

That's a question his wife -- who has filed for divorce -- is asking. She says even though their daughter survived, she was born premature, spent months on a feeding tube, suffers from developmental issues and requires therapy several times a week,

The attorney, Mason Herring, was originally charged with felony assault to induce abortion, but was allowed to plead to lesser charges of injury to a child and assault of a pregnant woman.

Why did he secretly spike his wife's drinks with the abortion drug misoprostol? Allegedly he was involved with a co-worker and thought the child -- conceived while he and his wife Catherine were going through counseling to repair their marriage -- would "ruin his plans and make him look like a jerk," according to an affidavit filed with the court.

"I do not believe that 180 days is justice for attempting to kill your child seven separate times," Catherine Herring said after the sentence was handed down.

We agree. If Texas truly wants to protect the unborn, this isn't the way to go about it.

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