The disgust at the prosecution and sentencing of Purvi Patel has spread to the UK. The Independent has a story:
Her lawyers say Patel, who is from a conservative Hindu family, had concealed her pregnancy from her parents and panicked when she realised she was in labour. Patel lived with and cared for her parents and infirm grandparents in a house in South Bend, Indiana.
Patel maintained that the foetus was stillborn but the prosecution argued that she gave birth to a live foetus that died within a few seconds.
“I assumed because the baby was dead there was nothing to do,” the South Bend Tribune quoted her as saying during a police interview. “I’ve never been in this situation. I’ve never been pregnant before.”
The prosecution said the fetus (or baby) died within a few seconds? I didn’t know that part. In that case wtf was she supposed to do? Perform a miracle?
Patel is the second woman to be charged with feticide in the US, but the first to receive a prison sentence. She was prosecuted under state laws that are otherwise intended at targeting illegal abortion providers and prosecuting crimes against pregnant women, Al Jazeera reports.
Women’s rights activists have condemned her conviction and the subsequent sentence. They say the law is being used to prosecute women who miscarry, have stillbirths or try to terminate their own pregnancies.
The British Pregnancy Advisory Service described Patel’s case as “tragic” and warned it could set a dangerous precedent for other pregnant women. A spokesperson told The Independent: “Purvi Patel is sadly the latest victim of the creeping criminalisation of pregnant women’s behaviour in America.”