Purvi Patel: Feticide or Miscarriage?

It is imperative that we abolish laws like these.

It is imperative that we abolish laws like these.

Hilda Delgado, Staff Writer

On March 30, Purvi Patel, a woman from Indiana, was sentenced to 20 years in prison after she miscarried her baby. This case demonstrates that both women who receive an abortion or experience pregnancy loss are now subject to investigation, public trial and incarceration. The government should not have the right to sentence a woman to prison because of a biological occurrence that is out of her control. Whether the death of Patel’s unborn child was intentional or not, this does not change the fact that she should not have been thrown in jail for a miscarriage, which was seen as feticide through the eyes of the law.

Patel was convicted of two contradictory charges – of both intentionally terminating her pregnancy and delivering a live fetus and abandoning it – neither of which was supported by the evidence found. The state had no proof that she took abortion pills, and no proof that the fetus was born alive; additionally, she has consistently stated that she had a miscarriage.

“The government cannot punish a woman for something that was not in her control,” junior Gaby Martinez said.

The Indiana court deemed this a case of feticide; many believe that because the court saw it as feticide, arresting Purvi Patel was the appropriate action. However, regardless of whether the termination of Patel’s pregnancy was intentional or not, it does not make it ethically correct for the state to incarcerate a woman because of a miscarriage.

“[The government] should not have a right to determine what a woman can and can not do to her body or the life that she is carrying with her,” freshman Celina Montero said.

This case is a perfect example of how the government intervenes in private affairs unjustly, and it is necessary that we repeal these laws that allow them to do so.