More Shitty News from Indiana

[Content Note: War on agency; misogyny; racism.]

Purvi Patel, the woman who was charged with 'fetal murder of an unborn child,' has been found guilty and sentenced to "20 years jail time for the neglect of a dependent conviction and 6 years for feticide. ...Once her prison time is done, Patel will be on probation for five years."

Tara Culp-Ressler has the background on Patel's story, and notes that the outcome of her case rested heavily on perceptions about how people thought she should have behaved.
Reproductive justice organizations have been raising the alarm about Patel's case for months, saying that broad feticide laws are creating a separate legal standard for pregnant women. They point out that, if women have to worry about getting arrested after going to the hospital, it will deter them from seeking critical medical care. If Patel has known that she risked being charged with fetal homicide, for instance, would she have thought twice about going to the emergency room to stem her bleeding?

And according to [Sue Ellen Braunlin, the co-president of the Indiana Religious Coalition for Reproductive Justice], who has been in regular contact with Patel throughout the criminal proceedings, it was "frightening" to see how much of the case appeared to rest on the public's knee-jerk reaction to Patel's conduct immediately after her premature delivery. It disturbs a lot of people that she chose to place the fetus in a dumpster. Her nurses were surprised that she wasn't displaying more emotion at the hospital, and wondered why she was spending so much time on her phone.

Ultimately, Patel didn't fit other people's ideas of how a proper grieving mother should behave — which would hardly be the first time that prosecutors have pushed to level charges against women deemed to be "bad mothers."

"I think some people think it's just an icky case, so they don't want to stand up for her," Braunlin said.
I hope and expect that Patel's case will be appealed. I support Purvi Patel.

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