Purvi Patel

Media Advisory:

RELIGIOUS COALITION SUPPORTS PURVI PATEL’S RECENTLY FILED APPEAL

Patel has filed an appeal to the FETICIDE AND NEGLECT OF A DEPENDENT conviction with the Indiana Court of Appeals. She’s represented pro-bono by Stanford Law professor, Larry Marshall and Indiana University law professor, Joel Schumm. Marshall has worked with the Innocence Project.

While significant medical facts are in dispute, one thing is clear: a woman sought emergency medical care because she was hemorrhaging and instead got a criminal investigation and homicide charges filed against her.

Medical and public health experts recognize that attaching the threat of criminal prosecution to an appeal for health care is dangerous and will push a woman into hiding. There is broad medical consensus that it is vital for every woman to be able to trust her doctor and be unafraid to seek help in an obstetric emergency.

The outcome of this pregnancy was tragic. It was also tragic that Ms. Patel did not get the appropriate supportive medical care she so desperately needed. That it has become a criminal case is inappropriate, immoral, cruel and sets a dangerous new precedent.

Throughout the US, when pregnancy is investigated the suspicion is selectively directed to low income women and women of color. In Indiana, the tow women now prosecuted for feticide under the homicide statutes were both from Asian restaurant families. Chinese and South Asian cultures carry sterotypes of sex selective abortions, for which bans have come up in recent legislative sessions.

Health improves for all — every mother and baby — when both are supported. Indiana already has deplorable maternal and infant mortality. We cannot afford to deter a woman from seeking reproductive health care.

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