Anna Yocca, the 31-year-old Tennessee woman charged with attempted murder for attempting to terminate her pregnancy with a coat hanger, has pleaded not guilty. Yocca is being held on a $200,000 bond and was recently appointed a public defender.
Yocca appeared by video monitor Tuesday from the Rutherford County Jail in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where she pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree attempted murder. Police say she was 24 weeks pregnant when she attempted to abort with a hanger at home in her bathtub. When she began losing an alarming amount of blood, her boyfriend took her to the hospital, where she was arrested. Her infant was born weighing 1.5 pounds, with his “lungs, eyes and heart” permanently injured from the hanger, per the prosecution.
Protesters reportedly filled the courtroom during Yocca’s appearance, wearing stickers reading “Abortion on demand and without apology.” Tennessee’s abortion laws are among the strictest in the country, requiring a 48 hour waiting period. According to Guttmacher, there are 14 abortion providers in the state, but 96 percent of Tennessee counties had no abortion clinics, and no clinics in the state perform abortions after 16 weeks.
The details surrounding Yocca’s case are unclear; as of Tuesday, her attorney had yet to meet with her.
Anna Yocca. Mugshot via Murfreesboro Police Department