Woman Tries Coat-Hanger Abortion, Is Arrested

Anna Yocca of Tennessee faces attempted-murder charge
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2015 5:40 AM CST
Woman Tries Coat-Hanger Abortion, Is Arrested
Yocca   (Courtesy)

A Tennessee woman was arrested Dec. 9 for allegedly using a coat hanger to try to end her 24-week pregnancy. Anna Yocca, 31, of Murfreesboro was charged with attempted first-degree murder in the incident, which happened in September. The baby boy was saved, according to the Murfreesboro Post; it's unclear how immediately he was delivered, but he weighed just 1.5 pounds at birth and faces a lifetime of medical problems. The use of the hanger damaged his eyes, lungs, and heart, per the Post. "Those injuries will affect this child for the rest of his life, all caused at the hands of his own mother," Sgt. Kyle Evans tells WTVF. Doctors say the boy will need to find a home with a foster parent equipped to deal with his issues.

A police report says evidence shows that Yocca filled a bathtub in her upstairs bathroom, got in the tub, and used a hanger in an attempt to "self-abort," the Daily News Journal reports. The bleeding that resulted made her "alarmed and concerned for her safety," and her boyfriend drove her to the hospital, where she made "disturbing statements" about wanting to end the pregnancy. The Washington Post frames Tennessee's abortion laws as "relatively tight," with women unable to get abortions after the 12-week mark. WTVF reports that an investigation into Yocca, an Amazon fulfillment center employee, began in September; she was indicted by a grand jury and is being held on $200,000 bond. Her next court date is Dec. 21. (A 25-year-old woman in Chile was similarly arrested for allegedly inducing her own abortion.)

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