Indiana Court overturns feticide conviction of Purvi Patel

Indiana Public Media
Purvi Patel is taken into custody after being sentenced to 20 years in prison for feticide and neglect of a dependent on Monday, March 30, 2015, at the St. Joseph County Courthouse in South Bend, Ind.

The Indiana Appeals Court has overturned the feticide conviction for Purvi Patel, an Indiana woman who took abortion drugs after an unintended pregnancy.

In the decision, the judges chose to vacate the class A felony conviction of neglect of a dependent and feticide, but instructed the trial court to resentence Patel for the lesser charge of class D felony neglect of a dependent.

What you need to know about the Patel case:

In July, 2013, Patel delivered an extremely preterm fetus alone in her home and went to the hospital because of excessive bleeding. Police found the body of the preemie where Patel told them she disposed of it. Police arrested Patel and prosecutors charged her with feticide for taking the abortion drugs and neglect resulting in the death of a dependent.

Patel appealed the 20-year prison sentence in October, 2015.

“Given that the legislature decriminalized abortion with respect to pregnant women only two years before it enacted the feticide statute, we conclude that the legislature never intended the feticide statute to apply to pregnant women,” the court doc says.

This story was first published by Indiana Public Media.

The complete ruling is below.

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