Pro-Life Laws

Woman Found Guilty of Both Feticide And Child Neglect Because Logic Doesn’t Matter In Indiana

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woman-prison-cuffsIn what can only be described as something out of every woman’s worst nightmares, an Indiana woman faces prison after being convicted of both feticide AND child neglect. 33-year-old Purvi Patel arrived at an Indiana hospital last July bleeding from her vagina and confessed to medical staff that she had delivered a still-born child and left it in a dumpster. According to The Guardian:

Patel has said that the baby was already dead when it was born, that she tried to revive it, and that she didn’t call 911 because she was in shock…

A medical witness for the defense reportedly testified that, at an estimated 24 weeks, the fetus was not viable, and could not have survived outside the womb. A forensic pathologist ruled that the infant was alive at birth.

Patel was initially charged with child neglect for leaving a live infant in a dumpster, but the prosecution couldn’t prove the baby was alive, so they went ahead and charged her with feticide too, based on text messages in her phone that showed she’d purchased drugs to terminate her pregnancy. No drugs were found in her system at the time of the birth, but Patel was convicted of both charges anyway. This is absolutely insane and speaks to the lengths pro-lifers will go to criminalize women for anything other than a perfect pregnancy that results in a perfect baby.

Feticide laws are on the books in 38 states. It was originally claimed that these laws gave a fetus personhood to protect it from violent acts by a third party, such as in the case of an abusive partner harming a pregnant woman. They’re increasingly being used to prosecute pregnant women, though. Indiana had a similar case early last year in which they prosecuted a depressed woman for trying to commit suicide while pregnant.

While feticide laws are terrifying, my biggest confusion in the case of Purvi Patel is the fuckery of treating this as both a fetus and a child because it cannot be both. If the baby was not alive and viable, it was not a child. But, if you want to call it a child, you cannot then also call it a fetus. There is a difference, but apparently abortion critics are only willing to address that difference if it means charging women with twice as many crimes for having a terminated pregnancy, whether that termination was purposeful or not.

Neglect carries a maximum 50-year sentence in the state of Indiana, while feticide carries a maxiumum of 20 years. By convicting Patel of both, the state ensured they can stick her in prison for a long, long time, even though they couldn’t prove one way or another that any sort of crime was actually committed.

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