Woman Charged With Attempted Murder for Failed Abortion With Coat Hanger

Cherisse A. Scott, founder and CEO of SisterReach, a pro-abortion rights organization based in Memphis, Tennessee, blamed Yocca's actions on the state's restrictive abortion laws.

"Our greatest fear has come to past (sic), and it could have been avoided," said Scott in a statement Monday. "Women are attempting to self-abort due to restrictive abortion and punitive fetal assault legislation. We extend our deepest sympathies to Anna Yocca and her partner for not having the resources they needed in a timely fashion to access a safe abortion and without having to resort to the dangerous and often deadly alternative of using a coat hanger."

Scott claims that self-induced abortions will happen more often unless the Tennessee legislature changes current and future anti-abortion legislation " and the fetal assault law which allows a penalty of up to 15 years in prison for fetal harm."

However, Cheryl Sullenger, vice president of Operation Rescue, one of the leading pro-life Christian activist organizations in the nation, said that Yocca did not have to resort to the actions she took against the child as there are many places for her to have an abortion in Tennessee or get help with her pregnancy.

"There are plenty of places for her to go. Every state has at least one abortion clinic. There is no excuse for that. Every state has a number of pregnancy help centers that offer free help to women who are pregnant. So you know for a woman to feel like she has to self-induce there is no reason for that in America today. We all have to obey the law whether they are convenient or not convenient. If she felt like she didn't want to drive a couple of miles down the road to the nearest abortion clinic, she would rather self-induce, then she should be prosecuted," said Sullenger.

"There are plenty of abortion clinics in Tennessee. I find it annoying that when a woman breaks the law if it's related to abortion then pro-aborts want to cry and say it's because we have too restrictive abortion laws," continued Sullenger, who said she counted seven abortion clinics in Tennessee, and Tennessee "is not that big of a state."

According to the Dailey Law Firm, abortions in Tennessee are tightly restricted and the procedure is banned after 12 weeks of pregnancy. Since 2010, the National Women's Law Center says 59 percent of Tennessee women lived in a county that didn't have an abortion provider.

In April, 33-year-old Purvi Patel of Indiana became the first pregnant woman to be charged, convicted and imprisoned for feticide. She initially claimed her baby had died during a miscarriage but prosecutors said she attempted an illegal self-induced abortion and then left her baby to die.

Fetal homicide is a crime in 38 states, including Tennessee. The state passed legislation expanding the definition of "another person" in 2012 to include fetuses at all stages of development, making it one of 23 states with such a broad definition, according to the Dailey Law Firm. People can now be prosecuted for harm done to a fetus or embryo.

The law only exempts pregnant women who undergo legal abortions.

"There is no excuse for self-inducing an abortion when you've got seven abortion clinics in a state the size of Tennessee. It's ridiculous. You can't say she didn't have any place to go. She had plenty of places to go," said Sullenger.

"I know some women that are pregnant that are very, very desperate but there is help for women in Tennessee. I know there is about five times more pregnancy help centers in this country than there are abortion clinics so, there are plenty of resources out there for women who find themselves desperate in a pregnancy. There are people more than willing to help them out. So in a way you have a choice," she added. "It may be difficult, but life is difficult. It isn't always easy for everybody and sometimes we find ourselves in situations where there are no easy options but there are options that don't involve taking the life of an innocent child and don't involve breaking the law."

Contact: Follow Leonardo Blair on Twitter: @leoblair Follow Leonardo Blair on Facebook: LeoBlairChristianPost

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