In today’s (well, I read it yesterday) horrifying news, a Tennessee woman is being charged with attempted murder after trying to self-abort with a coat hanger when she was 24 weeks along. After she began bleeding profusely her boyfriend rushed her to the hospital where she was delivered of a 1.5 pound baby who will need medical assistance for his entire life. I can’t find any report on her health, which is pretty upsetting, given how dangerous what she did was, but she’s being held in a detention center.
Everything about this is horrifying to me. I can only imagine the desperation a woman must feel to sit in a bathtub and try to self-abort with a coat hanger, particularly at 24 weeks, so far along. I can only imagine what it feels like to be responsible for a baby needing medical assistance for the rest of its life, or what it feels like to be that baby. This is what we said would happen all along when abortion was made hard to get. Nothing is telling me whether this woman tried to get an abortion earlier, or what obstacles stood in her way, but I just don’t believe that if she was desperate enough to abort at 24 weeks with a coat hanger she wouldn’t have preferred to have done it much earlier and more safely.
And I’m horrified that nobody is questioning this statement in the linked article:
According to local news reports, detectives investigating the incident found Anna Yocca allegedly made “disturbing statements” to hospital staff where she was admitted after using a coat hanger to try and terminate her pregnancy.
Why were police investigating in the first place? Who called them? Why weren’t her statements covered by doctor-patient confidentiality? Are we going to go back to the days of septic wards and women refusing to tell their doctors what happened?
I used to go to pro-choice rallies where women wore buttons with pictures of coat hangers on them and the slogan “We won’t go back.” Well, we’re here.