One has to ask that question given what’s happened in Tennessee. I am sure you are all familiar with this story by now:
A 31-year-old Murfreesboro woman was arrested Wednesday and charged with attempted first-degree murder after a failed attempt to end her pregnancy, according to a report from the Murfreesboro Police Department.
Anna Yocca of Swindon Circle is accused of using a coat hanger to end her pregnancy in September, Detective Tommy Roberts reported. She was 24 weeks into gestation.
Yocca was indicted by the Rutherford County grand jury in December and is being held in the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center on $200,000 bond. Her court date was set for Dec. 21.
Roberts reported Yocca filled a bathtub with water, “took a coat hanger and attempted to self-abort her pregnancy.” Because of the amount of blood, she “became concerned about her safety” and her boyfriend took her to Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital.
Everything about this story is horrible–the lack of abortion services for women, the fact that “saved” this fetus which will now be brain damaged for the rest of its life, the hatred of women inherent in these charges, the use of the coat hanger out of desperation, the fact that her life is now ruined. Rosa Goldensohn has useful commentary:
The hospital-to-jailhouse track had already been laid for women in Tennessee. In 2014, the state began arresting women who give birth to babies with remnants of drugs in their systems. Social workers at certain hospitals are in the habit of calling local detectives, who sometimes cuff new mothers on the spot.
The women’s mug shots were common sights on Tennessee local news this summer: Mallory Loyola, Jamillah Falls, Tammy Anderson, Tonya Martin. The message was clear: if you were caught, you would be arrested. As a result, some women gave birth in hiding to avoid police prosecution.
Soon after the drug law went into effect, Tennessee voters changed the state constitution via ballot measure. They declared that “nothing in this constitution secures or protects a right to abortion” and affirmed the legislature’s ability to repeal abortion entirely. In May, Governor Bill Haslam signed into law a 48-hour waiting period for abortions and a licensing rule aimed at closing clinics.
Yocca’s arrest signals that the politicians’ anti-abortion agenda has now been turned over to the police.
And far from being a deterrent, her arrest could scare women who need abortions outside of states’ strict bounds into carrying them out in secret or without medical care, as Yocca did. Her much-projected mug shot legitimizes women’s fears of prosecution.
There was a time when anti-abortion fanatics would say that it was the abortion doctors who were evil and the women were their victims. No longer. What Tennessee is doing is simply the next step for women who terminate pregnancies. Once abortion is made illegal, then you can prosecute women for having sex aborting a pregnancy. And if we start prosecuting these women for murder, what is the rational for anti-abortion activists in death penalty states to not call for these women to die? We already know that most anti-abortion people don’t actually care about living human children. Since they already fetishize fetuses, it makes sense that only the highest possible penalty be applied, right?
This case also shows how utterly defunct Roe is in most of the nation.
Everything is horrible.