Woman Who Tried to Give Herself Abortion Leaves Prison

Anna Yocca pleaded guilty to trying to end her pregnancy in 2015, but was let out for time served
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2017 1:44 PM CST
Woman Who Tried to Give Herself Abortion Leaves Prison
Anna Yocca   (Rutherford County Sheriff's Office)

A Tennessee woman who tried to end her pregnancy with a coat hanger in 2015 was let out of jail Monday after entering a guilty plea to a lesser charge than the original attempted first-degree murder charge, the Daily News Journal reports. Anna Yocca, 32, had previously seen the charge reduced to aggravated assault last spring, then again to one count each of aggravated assault with a weapon, attempted procurement of a miscarriage, and attempted criminal abortion in November. Monday's plea was for felony attempted procurement of a miscarriage, and because her time served already fulfilled her sentence (one year in prison), Yocca walked out of the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center Monday evening a free woman.

Yocca attempted to end her pregnancy at home in a bathtub in September 2015, when she was 24 weeks pregnant, per the New York Times, but heavy bleeding brought her to a nearby hospital, where she had an emergency C-section and delivered a 1.5-pound baby boy with serious medical issues—two weeks after the abortion attempt. That child was eventually placed in foster care and adopted. In Tennessee, women can only receive abortions after 24 weeks if the mother's health or life are in danger, and only with counseling 48 hours beforehand. Yocca stayed in prison all this time because she couldn't raise her $200,000 bond. Abortion rights advocates are worried what precedent her case could set. "What these kinds of arrests do is it will discourage people from seeking help," Lynn Paltrow, the director for National Advocates for Pregnant Women, tells NBC News. (More abortion stories.)

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