Indiana: Not a great place for pregnant women. Currently, the case of Purvi Patel is being retried. In July 2013, Purvi Patel came to an Indiana emergency room due to bleeding following a pregnancy and had emergency surgery. Her medical team reported her to the police and she was arrested and prosecuted and sentenced to an unprecedented 20 years in prison for feticide and neglect of a dependent. Attorneys for Patel are urging the Indiana Court of Appeals reverse her 2015 convictions.
The War on Women is Alive and Kicking in Indiana
In this case, Patel purchased an abortion pill over the internet, thinking she was 12 weeks pregnant. She was trying to hide her pregnancy from her strict Hindu parents. She was actually 26 weeks. So the fetus was born, she cut the cord and didn’t get to a hospital to have the whole thing “documented.” But, she was bleeding too heavily and had to go to the emergency room. She told the doctors she miscarried, but they didn’t believe her and reported her to the police.
And the police thought it would be logical to interrogate a woman who just had surgery and was drugged out – since she will remember exactly how she got there! Despite hospital tests finding no traces of any abortion drug in her blood work, the state of Indiana charged her with both feticide for allegedly inducing an abortion, and child neglect for allegedly having a premature baby and then allowing the baby to die.
Can anybody say overkill?
Now the Indiana Pro-Life bunch thinks she lied and knew she was 26 weeks and that her parents would have loved to have that baby! Who died and made them God? They knew Patel’s situation more closely than she did? They knew what was going on in her head? They knew that her parents would’ve welcomed a baby born out of wedlock?
Well crown them all Saints! They have brought their religious beliefs to Indiana households, despite the unconstitutionality of this and have passed laws which persecute those pesky women who don’t behave! Nary a single law to prosecute male behavior, only female! Imagine a woman getting pregnant (all by herself as the man is never implicated in such things) and then wanting to ditch that baby. (Cause abortion IS legal!)
It’s Not Your Body: It Belongs to the State
“It’s troubling for a few reasons,” said David Orentlicher, a professor at the Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis who studies health care law. “What it says is that women have to worry that if they do something that might be viewed as something harmful to their fetus, they could have a prosecutor come in.” What if she smokes while pregnant?What if she drinks? Is she vulnerable to prosecution? What if she has a fall while skiing? What if she FALLS down the stairs? And if she ever mentioned that she didn’t want the pregnancy, is that going to be used against her?”
This case really highlights how much control a woman has over her own body. Inducing an abortion outside of a doctor’s office is dangerous. But with the extremely restrictive abortion laws just passed in Indiana (HB 1337), more and more women will be finding other ways to eliminate their pregnancy. Is Governor Pence planning to put all pregnant women in jail if they miscarry or abort a baby? Absolutely!
To top it off, her conviction is for 20 years! Twenty years of this woman’s life in prison for aborting a baby which she thought was OK since she thought she was only 12 weeks along! Twenty YEARS! It’s as if the legislature and the prosecutors of Indiana are punishing this woman for making a decision about her own body without the State’s Consent!
Patel’s attorney, Lawrence Marshall, co-founder of the Center on Wrongful Convictions and a professor at Stanford University, argued that the state’s case against Purvi Patel is unfair and incorrect. A feticide charge must be based on Patel’s conduct before delivery. Did she have a live birth? Or was the fetus, in fact, stillborn? A charge of neglect of a dependent must focus on Patel’s conduct after the birth. If Patel had a live birth, then the state of Indiana cannot charge her with feticide. If she neglected a child, Indiana can only count actions she took after the child was born. You can’t neglect a child that isn’t born yet!
Once again we see the writing on the wall. Republicans prosecute and incarcerate a woman who likely had a miscarriage and then Republican Lawmakers show their disdain for women everywhere by passing restrictive abortion laws to punish women. Mike Pence is up for re-election. As are several other Republicans in the legislature.
The War on Women? It is ALIVE AND WELL in Indiana!!