Woman Who Tried to Induce Her Own Abortion With a Coat Hanger Charged With 'Attempted Criminal Abortion'

Yocca in court in October. Screenshot via News Channel 5
Yocca in court in October. Screenshot via News Channel 5

A Tennessee woman who previously faced attempted murder charges for attempting to self-induce an abortion with a coat hanger has been charged with three new felonies. Anna Yocca, now 32, is charged with aggravated assault with a weapon, attempted procurement of a miscarriage and attempted criminal abortion.


Yocca’s attempted murder charges were dropped to aggravated assault this February, but a Rutherford County Grand Jury returned the new charges against her November 12. (That means prosecutors went back to the grand jury, determined to get Yocca charged with something more serious than aggravated assault.)

Yocca has been in jail since December 2015. She’s accused of filling a bathtub with water in September of that year and attempting to abort her pregnancy at 24 weeks. When she started bleeding heavily, her boyfriend drove her to the hospital; she delivered a 1.5 pound baby boy. Police said the baby suffered serious injuries from the coat hanger and will face lifelong health complications. He was placed by social services with an adoptive family out of state.


Yocca’s attorneys tried to have the charges dropped altogether in October, arguing that she’s been indicted under a statute that is not meant to apply to women attempting to self-abort. She will be arraigned on the new charges on November 28.

Anna Merlan was a Senior Reporter at G/O Media until September 2019. She's the author of Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power.

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