Target: Indiana Governor Mike Pence
Goal: Pardon woman sentenced to 20 years in prison for having a miscarriage.
A woman in Indiana was given 20 years in prison after she had a likely miscarriage or stillbirth and sought medical help at a hospital. Purvi Patel was charged under feticide laws despite the fact that no substances were found in her body that could have harmed the fetus. In direct contradiction to this, she was also charged with felony child neglect because prosecutors said the child was technically a baby that could have survived outside the womb.
Not only did the pathologist in the case determine that the child was stillborn, the test that prosecutors used to “prove” that the child could have survived outside Patel’s body was dismissed as quackery over 100 years ago. The floating lung test they performed was done in the 17th century and is very widely regarded as invalid by actual medical professionals.
Somehow, despite all of this, Patel was still found guilty and sentenced to two decades in prison, effectively ruining her life. It’s not surprising that Patel, like the only other person in the state to be charged with feticide, is an immigrant woman of color.
This mockery of a trial has widespread ramifications. It may prevent pregnant people in Indiana, especially poor women of color, from seeking medical treatment when something goes wrong during a pregnancy as they will fear prosecution. It also shows how anti-abortion laws treat pregnant people as incubators who can’t even suggest the idea of abortion without risk of being thrown in prison for a crime they clearly didn’t commit.
This injustice cannot be allowed to stand. Patel should not have to continue to suffer through the process of appeal. By signing this petition, you’ll demand that the governor of Indiana pardon Purvi Patel of all charges immediately due to the clearly dubious methods used in the trial and lack of evidence of any wrongdoing.
Dear Governor Pence,
You’ve likely heard of Purvi Patel, an immigrant Indian woman who was sentenced to 20 years in prison after she was somehow accused of both feticide and child neglect. Both charges don’t make sense, as there were no abortion drugs found in Patel’s system and the pathologist assigned to the case said that the child was stillborn and therefore was never a child that could have been neglected.
This trial was a clear farce, but could potentially ruin this woman’s entire life. You don’t recover from 20 years in prison. Evidence strongly suggests that this woman did nothing wrong and only suffered the pain and trauma of a stillbirth or miscarriage. She needs support and counseling, not to be thrown behind bars. Please open your heart and grant Purvi Patel a full pardon for the crimes she clearly did not commit.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Jashina via Pixabay