Tennessee woman jailed over abortion attempt freed after a year

by Reuters
Wednesday, 11 January 2017 03:22 GMT

Anna Yocca is pictured in this undated booking photo provided by the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office. REUTERS/Rutherford County Sheriff's Office/Handout via Reuters

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Anna Yocca tried unsuccessfully to use a coat hanger to abort her 24-week-old foetus

By Tim Ghianni

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Jan 10 (Reuters) - A Tennessee woman initially accused of attempted murder for unsuccessfully using a coat hanger to try to abort a 24-week-old fetus has been released after spending more than a year in jail, law enforcement officials said Tuesday.

Anna Yocca, 32, was arrested after the botched abortion attempt in 2015 in a case that led to complaints by pro-abortion activists in a state where no provider offers the procedure after a fetus reaches 16 weeks.

She pleaded not guilty to a charge of attempted murder of the fetus in 2015. However, in a plea deal with prosecutors, Yocca pleaded guilty on Monday to a lesser charge of attempting to procure a miscarriage, according to the Daily News Journal in Murfreesboro.

The attempted murder charge was dropped last year but she remained in jail, unable to make her $200,000 bond on lesser charges of assault and attempted criminal abortion.

Those charges were dropped on Monday as part of the plea deal.

Yocca was released at about 9 p.m. Monday night, Lisa Marchesoni, spokeswoman for the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office in Murfreesboro, said on Tuesday.

Her child was born injured but alive after her boyfriend rushed her to a hospital in Murfreesboro, about 30 miles (50 km) southeast of Nashville.

The baby boy, named Leo Kluge, weighed 1.5 pounds (680 grams) at birth and was taken into protective custody.

Under Tennessee law, an abortion must be performed by a licensed physician and is restricted by viability, according to the New York-based Guttmacher Institute, which studies reproductive health policies. A 48-hour waiting period is required for all abortions, the institute said.

(Editing by Sharon Bernstein and Paul Tait)

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