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Overturn the judgement in Purvi Patel's case, and set her free #FreePatel

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On 30th March 2015, the state of Indiana sentenced 33-year-old 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.

In July 2013 Patel, upon visiting the emergency room due to heavy bleeding, admitted to medical authorities that she had had a miscarriage and threw the stillborn fetus in a dumpster.

Her defence argued that, coming from a conservative Hindu family that looked down on sex outside marriage, Purvi panicked when she realised that she was in labor as she was only in the second trimester. Her pregnancy, the result of a relationship with a co-worker, had been hidden up until that point.

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.

To support their claim that the baby was born alive, the state relied on the “lung float test” - a test which has been discredited in other legal cases.

Patel is the first woman to be sentenced under Indiana's feticide laws but she isn't the first woman to be charged. In 2011, Bei Bei Shuai, a Chinese American-woman, was held in prison for a year before feticide charges against her were dropped as part of a plea deal.

Shuai was reportedly suffering from depression and tried to commit suicide while pregnant. She survived, but the fetus did not.

The fact that the only two women charged with infanticide are Asian American is important to note because women of color often lack access to basic healthcare, counseling, and other reproductive health resources.

We are calling for Purvi's sentence to be overturned, as it is clearly a miscarriage of justice, and for her to be set free.

www.facebook.com/freepurvipatel

Twitter: @freepurvipatel   #freepatel

Sources:

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/indiana-has-now-charged-two-asian-american-women-feticide-n332761

http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2015/03/30/easy-pregnant-women-put-trial-united-states/


http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2015/02/02/purvi-patel-isnt-first-woman-color-pregnancy-put-trial-indiana/

 



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