Back in 2022, Texas personal injury attorney Mason Herring was accused of repeatedly slipping an abortion drug into his pregnant wife’s beverage without her knowledge.
The couple found out they were expecting their third child while they were separated, but in couples counseling. Herring was reportedly in a romantic relationship with a subordinate at work at the time, and was not happy about the pregnancy. He allegedly told his estranged wife the pregnancy “would ruin his plans and make him look like a jerk.” Spoiler alert: trying to abort the pregnancy without your wife’s knowledge or consent doesn’t make you look like *less* of a “jerk.”
As a result of Herring’s actions, his daughter was born prematurely. She weighed just over three pounds, and spent months on a feeding tube.
Herring took a plea deal and admitted to spiking his wife’s drinks with an abortion-inducing drug without her knowledge and pleaded guilty to injury to a child and assault of a pregnant person.
Last week, Harris County District Court Judge Andrea Ball sentenced Herring for his crimes. He got 180 days in jail, and 10 years of probation.
If you’re stunned and horrified by the light sentence, trust his estranged wife, Catherine Herring, is even more disappointed with the result of the case. She said, “I do not believe that 180 days is justice for attempting to kill your child seven separate times. For two years, my husband has overly denied this assault, and I’m grateful today that he has finally admitted to his guilt.” Catherine Herring went on to note that the amount of time her estranged husband will spend in jail is less than the amount of time their daughter was on a feeding tube.
As a reminder, this questionable tale of “justice” took place in Texas. This is the same state that wrote a functional abortion ban — before the Supreme Court got around to overturning Roe v. Wade — as a way to evade constitutional review. And since then, the state has continued to be on the forefront of restricting a woman’s bodily autonomy, often to tragic and cruel effect. All in the name of “saving unborn children.”
If that were really true, wouldn’t you expect a much stiffer sentence for Herring? After all, here we have an actual child who was harmed by the actions of her father. But that rhetoric was nothing more than a red herring — it was always about controling women’s bodies. And once you realize that, this starts to makes a terrible kind of sense.
Kathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, host of The Jabot podcast, and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter @Kathryn1 or Mastodon @[email protected].