This is only the beginning. With Republicans attacking reproductive rights on all fronts, not just abortion, but contraception, Purvi Patel will not be the last woman charged with feticide. Now miscarriage is being made a crime. This could frighten women away from prenatal care. What makes it even more ominous; she is an immigrant.
When Purvi Patel showed up in the St. Joseph Regional Medical Center’s maternity ward, bleeding and showing a protruding umbilical cord, Dr. Kelly McGuire immediately knew something was wrong.
“There should have been a baby at the end of the umbilical cord,” he testified in an Indiana court room.
McGuire, who is obligated to report cases of suspected child abuse, called the police, he told PRI. Informed that officials were heading to her home, Patel told her doctors that she’d had a miscarriage and had left her stillborn fetus in a dumpster behind a shopping center. Still in his hospital scrubs, McGuire followed police cars to the scene and examined the fetus, which he pronounced dead on arrival. Patel was charged with child neglect, and later with killing her fetus, and on Monday she was sentenced to 20 consecutive years in prison.
Just to add an extra level of awful, they added a charge of child neglect on the grounds that the baby could have been born alive.