News Abortion

New York Woman Being Charged With “Self-Abortion”

Robin Marty

A New York woman is believed to have induced her own abortion and put the fetus in a dumpster.

In what may be another case “do it yourself” abortion, a New York woman is being charged with “self-abortion” after a fetus was found in a dumpster.

Via New York Daily News:

Yaribely Almonte, 20, wrapped the fetus in plastic and dumped the girl in a bin outside her building on W. 191st. St., near Wadsworth Ave.

A man sorting recyclables discovered the child’s lifeless body Tuesday, and Almonte was charged Wednesday night.

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The police have already named it a crime, saying that under state law a woman can be charged with “self-abortion” if the fetus is more than 24 weeks.  The medical examiner has yet to release a cause of death, but police are pressing charges as Amonte mentioned drinking an herbal tea before the miscarriage.

News Law and Policy

No Attempted Murder Charge for Tennessee Woman Indicted for Self-Induced Abortion

Imani Gandy

The woman's public defender charged that Tennessee law does not permit a pregnant person to be charged with murdering that person's own fetus.

Anna Yocca, a Tennessee woman accused of using a coat hanger to try to terminate her pregnancy, will not face attempted first-degree murder charges, reports the Associated Press.

Prosecutors indicted Yocca in December for illegally attempting to end her pregnancy. In September, Yocca allegedly filled a bathtub with water, sat in it, took a coat hanger, and attempted to abort her pregnancy, prosecutors said. Yocca reportedly bled heavily during the attempt, at which point her boyfriend rushed her to the hospital.

Medical professionals at Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital in Nashville delivered a 1.5-pound infant. The newborn survived and will reportedly need extensive medical care. Hospital staff alerted law enforcement officials after, they said, Yocca made “disturbing statements” to them about trying to terminate her pregnancy.

The public defender assigned to Yocca, Gerald Melton, asked a Murfreesboro, Tennessee, judge to dismiss the charges against Yocca, arguing that state law does not permit a pregnant person to be charged with murdering their own fetus. Melton informed the judge that the prosecutor had agreed to present a new indictment to the grand jury.

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Melton told reporters that he believed the new charge would be aggravated assault, according to the Associated Press.

While the circumstances of Yocca’s situation remain unclear, Tennessee has seen an uptick in legislative attacks on abortion rights since voters in 2014 approved an amendment to the state constitution that allows lawmakers to pass and implement legislation restricting legal abortion access.

Since the amendment’s passage, lawmakers have introduced measures that would force women seeking abortion care to obtain an ultrasound, require abortion clinics to be licensed as ambulatory surgical centers, impose a 48-hour forced waiting period, along with an unconstitutional law that would ban abortion after 20 weeks.

Yocca is being held on a $200,000 bond, but according to her attorney, the impending indictment should carry with it a much lower bond.

Melton told reporters that he would discuss the bond and her release with the district attorney, but that in the meantime, “I see her every week. I think she’s doing all right.”

News Law and Policy

Attorney Wants Mental Evaluation of Tennessee Woman Charged in Self-Induced Abortion Case

Jessica Mason Pieklo

The attorney for Anna Yocca, the Tennessee woman charged with attempted murder for allegedly trying to terminate her pregnancy with a coat hanger, suggested his client has a history of mental illness.

The attorney for Anna Yocca, the Tennessee woman facing an attempted murder charge for trying to terminate her pregnancy with a coat hanger, wants a mental evaluation of his client.

As reported in the Murfreesboro PostRutherford County Public Defender Gerald Melton was appointed to represent Yocca, who had told the court she could not afford an attorney. Melton, in a hearing Tuesday, told Circuit Court Judge Royce Taylor that due to the “serious nature” of Yocca’s case, he would need additional time to review the allegations against Yocca and further prepare her defense.

Melton, as part of that defense, indicated he planned to seek a mental health evaluation of Yocca, claiming his client has a history of documented mental health treatment.

Yocca, 31, is charged with attempted first-degree murder. She’s being held on $200,000 bond.

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Yocca allegedly went to her upstairs bathroom, filled the tub with water, got in and tried to “self-abort” her pregnancy with a coat hanger, according to police reports. Prosecutors claim Yocca grew “alarmed and concerned for her safety” when she saw a great deal of blood in the tub. Her boyfriend took her to St. Thomas Rutherford Hospital’s emergency room.

From there, she was transported to St. Thomas Mid-Town in Nashville, where staff members delivered a 1.5-pound “Baby Yocca,” according to police. The baby survived and will reportedly need extensive medical care.

Yocca was 24 weeks pregnant at the time she attempted to terminate her pregnancy, according to reports.

Judge Taylor scheduled Yocca’s next hearing for February 29, when the court will review the case and hear preliminary hearings such as the request for a mental health evaluation of Yocca.