On Monday, the state of Indiana sentenced 33-year-old Indian-American Purvi Patel to 20 years in prison on charges of feticide – an act that causes the death of a fetus – and neglect of a dependent. She received a 30-year-sentence on the felony neglect charge, 10 of which were suspended. A six-year sentence for feticide will be served concurrently.
Patel is the first woman in the U.S. to be charged, convicted and sentenced on a feticide charge. Reproductive rights activists are outraged.
“What this conviction means is that anti-abortion laws will be used to punish pregnant woman,” says Lynn Paltrow, Executive Director for National Advocates for Pregnant Women.
Patel was arrested in July 2013 after she went to the emergency room, bleeding heavily, at St. Joseph Hospital in Mishawaka, Indiana. Despite initially denying the pregnancy, Patel eventually admitted to medical authorities that she had a miscarriage and threw the stillborn fetus in a dumpster.
According to Sue Ellen Braunlin, doctor and co-president of the Indiana Religious Coalition for Reproductive Justice, Purvi was most likely 23-24 weeks pregnant, although prosecutors argued Patel was 25 weeks along in the state’s opening argument. The prosecution confirmed on Monday that the baby died within seconds of being born.
Patel’s lawyers argued that she panicked when she realized she was in labor. Patel comes from a conservative Hindu family that looks down on sex outside marriage, and the pregnancy was a result of an affair Patel had with her co-worker.
“Purvi Patel’s conviction amounts to punishment for having a miscarriage and then seeking medical care, something that no woman should worry would lead to jail time,” said Deepa Iyer, Activist-in-Residence at the University of Maryland’s Asian American Studies Program and former director of South Asian Americans Leading Together.
Despite Patel’s claim that she gave birth to a stillborn child, prosecutors argued that Patel gave birth to a live fetus and charged her with child neglect. Prosecutors also claimed that Patel ordered abortion-inducing drugs online and tried to terminate her pregnancy, but a toxicology report failed to find evidence of any drugs in her system.
Read more: NBC News
- For Those of You Who Thought Trump Bankrupted the Secret Service, Here is the Real Story…
- BLM Activist Makes List of Requests for White People: ‘give up the home you own to a black or brown family.’
- Armed Intruder Breaks into Family’s Apartment, Tries Raping Daughter — Enter the Pissed Off Father…
- Policewoman Shoots Down 4 Jihadis by Herself — Video Footage Revealed
- REPORT: Debbie Wasserman Schultz’ IT Aide May Have Sold State Secrets to Russia, Pakistan
- Senator Apologizes for ‘Assassinate Trump’ Comment… Almost a Week Later
- Pope Francis Claims Migrants’ Rights Overrule Importance of National Security
- Should Antifa be Labeled as a Terror Organization? This Petition Says It Should.
- Watch: Hipsters Believe America Should Model Economy Like Venezuela’s to Have Income Equality
- Arizona Court Rules Guns are Loaded, Even When Empty…
- Apparently Saint and Little Native American Boy Statue is White Supremacy…
- Democrat Steve Cohen is Introducing Impeachment Articles for President Trump Over Charlottesville
- #BlackLivesMatter Are Planning ‘DAY OF RAGE’ in 37 Cities–Is Yours On The List?
- Charlottesville Police Chief Says Everyone was Guilty of Violence: ‘Mutually Combating Individuals In The Crowd’
- Question: Should Lawmakers Investigate James Comey and Robert Mueller?
- Pastor is Now Demanding Removal of George Washington Statue Because He Owned Slaves…
- The Key to Basic Handgun Training? K.I.S.S. [Watch]
- All You Need To Know About “Assault” Rifles