Indiana is first to convict and sentence a woman for feticide- except she miscarried

Indiana continues to be noted for all the wrong reasons. While she is 4th in Infant mortality, state lawmakers continue to restrict access to healthcare, women’s health, and criminalizing women whose pregnancy ends in anything less than a viable, healthy infant.

On Monday March 30th Judge Elizabeth Hurley of St. Joseph county sentenced Purvi Patel  who was convicted in January of contradicting charges of feticide and neglect of a dependent.  Ms Patel is now serving 30 years for feticide, and six years for neglect of a dependent.

Except that this was a miscarriage.  Patel maintains she suffered the miscarriage at home, tried to blow air into the fetus mouth but it was dead, For many reasons not known -I’d guess shock, loss of blood- she instead placed the fetus in the bathroom trash bag and then into a dumpster, Yet five hours later she as still bleeding and went to St. Joseph Regional Center.

Despite expert testimony depicting this was a miscarriage, 24 wk old fetus born dead and could not have survived even if immediate NICU was there, and no proof she ingested or bought any abortion inducing meds- due to disposing the body in a dumpster, being unemotional, and being “a woman of means” she was convicted and sentenced.

The case sets dangerous precedents- most notably if you are a woman and experience an issue with your pregnancy  be careful when seeking medical help. You may get 30 years.


Excellent forensic synopsis. The Charles Smith blog. 

Indiana has now charged two Asian Americans with feticide 

Reality Check: Purvi Patel sentenced feticide 




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