What We Know About the TN Woman Indicted for a Botched Abortion
Here is what we know:
- Three months ago, Anna Yocca (31) decided to terminate her pregnancy with a coat hanger.
- Yocca was six months pregnant.
- After she began to bleed, she had her boyfriend take her to the emergency room.
- Emergency room staff delivered the child who weighed just 1.5 pounds.
- The child, who is still alive, will need oxygen and daily medications because of the premature delivery.
- Yucca is currently incarcerated, being held on $200,000 bail, and faces first-degree murder charges.
- She is due in court on December 21.
The Law in Tennessee:
- In Tennessee, it is illegal to have an abortion past the 12-week mark.
- Though abortions up until the 24-week mark are legal, in Tennessee, there are no clinics that perform abortions past 16-weeks
- Earlier this year, the governor of Tennessee, Bill Haslam, signed a law that requires women who are seeking an abortion (before the 12-week mark) to make two visits to the abortion clinic, attend in-person counseling, and then wait 48 hours before having the procedure.
- Tennessee only has 14 abortion providers in the entire state. That means 63% of TN women live in counties with no abortion clinic.
- TN residents face up to 15 years in prison for harming a fetus
There is no denying that this is a terrible thing for everyone involved, but it does bring to light the need for less restrictive abortion laws. According to a study recently done by the Texas Policy Evaluation Project, self-induced abortions increase in states that restrict access to safe, legal abortion clinics. If women don’t have access, they feel compelled to take matters into their own hands, often resulting in detrimental consequences.