Stand with Purvi Patel and Ensure That No Person Fears Punishment for Having An Abortion

Stand with Purvi Patel on Monday, May 23, 2016 at 2:00PM EST when she will fight her conviction and 20 year sentence in the Indiana Court of Appeals. Let the state of Indiana know you are watching! You can attend oral arguments at the Indiana Court of Appeals, or stream the oral argument live from the court’s website at 2:00PM EST on Monday, May 23.

In July of 2013, Purvi Patel, a 33-year-old Indian-American woman, went to an Indiana emergency room bleeding and seeking help. She explained that she had been pregnant and had disposed of the fetal remains in a trash bin. With assistance from some of Ms. Patel’s own physician, police arrested Ms. Patel who was eventually charged with and convicted of feticide and neglect of a dependent and sentenced to serve 20 years behind bars.

Although Indiana has no law permitting punishment of pregnant people who have or attempt to have abortions, prosecutors misused the state’s feticide law -- passed to protect pregnant women from violence to -- instead, re-criminalize abortion and send Ms. Patel to prison. And, because the prosecution did not have any actual evidence that Ms. Patel had a live birth and neglected a newborn, the prosecution focused on her actions and omissions during pregnancy, including her abortion to win a conviction on the neglect of a dependent charge. Ms. Patel has already served more than a year behind bars.

NAPW supports Ms. Patel because we believe that there is no point in pregnancy when a woman should lose her civil and human rights. We know that arresting or bringing criminal charges against people for ending a pregnancy, experiencing a miscarriage or stillbirth, or for being pregnant and giving birth, puts all pregnant people at risk. And we know that when we punish women who have sought healthcare, they will stop seeking healthcare, endangering maternal, fetal and child health.

Indiana law does not permit punishment of women for having or attempting to have an abortion. Learn more about how Indiana twisted their law to punish Purvi Patel, and the broader legal implications here: http://www.politicalresearch.org/2015/03/29/how-indiana-is-making-it-possible-to-jail-women-for-having-abortions/#sthash.F0Z5WsMr.dpbs

Learn more about the devastating public health implications of this case and cases like these around the world here: http://rewire.news/article/2015/03/30/easy-pregnant-women-put-trial-united-states/

Take these steps to fight Ms. Patel's conviction!

- You can attend oral arguments at the Indiana Court of Appeals, or stream the oral argument live from the court’s website at 2:00PM EST on Monday, May 23. The more people that stream the oral arguments, the better, because the court can gauge interest in the case from online viewership.

- Participate in a Twitter storm during the oral arguments with the hashtag #FreePurvi. 

- Follow NAPW on Facebook and Twitter for sample tweets and Facebook posts. 

- Learn more about the case by reading the friend of the court briefs, filed on behalf of more than 85 organizations and individuals, here: http://advocatesforpregnantwomen.org/main/publications/brief_bank/in_state_of_indiana_v_purvi_patel.php