If a hearing doesn’t go her way this Monday, a 33 year-old Indiana woman could be facing up to 70 years in prison for a miscarriage. Her case is a disturbing manifestation of extremist pro-life legislation.
Purvi Patel was arrested in 2013 after she went to the emergency room to seek medical treatment for heavy bleeding. After initially denying that she had been pregnant, she eventually told the staff that she had a premature delivery at home, believed the fetus was not alive, and placed it in a bag in a dumpster on her way to the hospital. Her doctors called the cops, who questioned Patel while she was still in the hospital, searched her cell phone records, and recovered the fetus.
Patel maintains that she did not abandon a living baby. “I assumed because the baby was dead there was nothing to do,” Patel later told law enforcement officials. “I’ve never been in this situation. I’ve never been pregnant before.”
Her lawyers said the pregnancy resulted from a sexual relationship with a married co-worker, and Patel didn’t want her conservative Hindu parents — who raised her under the assumption that she shouldn’t have sex outside of marriage — to know about it. They also said Patel didn’t realize how far along her pregnancy was, and was shocked to see what the fetus looked like when she experienced the premature delivery.
Indiana State officials insist they have evidence to charge Patel with attempting to get a illegal abortion after purchasing abortion-inducing drugs online — even though a toxicologist gave testimony stating that there were no trace of the drugs in her bloodstream.
Featured image courtesy of WNDU News