You’ve reached the activism portion of today’s show. Now that you’re informed and angry, here’s what you can do about it. Today’s activism: Free Purvi Patel.
By now you’re probably wondering when during the show an expert or an advocate will explain how a person can be charged and convicted of both feticide — the killing of a fetus — and neglect of a dependent — which presumably would be a child with a birth certificate and a birthday and all the necessary markers that come with entry into the world. Welcome to the current state of reproductive healthcare and the criminalization of anyone who dares walk around with a uterus.
Before the red state shaming of Indiana kicks back into gear, you should know that as of April 1st, there were 332 abortion restriction provisions making their way through 43 state houses. So, not just red states or southern states or fly over states. Basically, unless you live in proactive Oregon or California, your state is at the very least stalled on extending care to those who need it or actively attempting to legislate basic healthcare until it's out of reach for poor and marginalized people.
People like Purvi Patel.
Our friend Imani Gandy at This Week in Blackness is also senior legal analysis at RH Reality Check — and she can describe, but not make sense of either the charges or the conviction. As she so succinctly put it, "A charge of feticide requires a dead fetus, while a charge of neglect of a dependent requires a live birth.” The state’s inability to create or present evidence of a self-induced miscarriage — which is illegal in every state, by the way — or evidence that an attempted miscarriage resulted in a live birth should have meant Patel went home.
Instead she’s expected to serve 20 years in prison.
RH Reality Check is calling for the State of Indiana to overturn the conviction and eliminate criminal liability for pregnancy outcomes. You can find, sign, and share their petition at RHRealityCheck.org — the graphic and the link are on essentially every page.
We shouldn’t need for an injustice to be in our backyard to care about it; but for those who do, legislation that monitors and criminalizes pregnant people is setting records this year from coast to coast. Stopping the wave and demanding existing laws be overturned is a fight we can’t afford to skip out on; lives are at stake — right now, today.
SIGN ”Overturn the #PurviPatel Conviction; Repeal Indiana’s Feticide Law” via RH Reality Check
"Purvi Patel Sentenced to 41 Years for Feticide and Neglect of a Dependent” by Imani Gandy at RH Reality Check
Read RH Reality Check's extensive coverage on Purvi Patel’s case
"How Indiana Is Making It Possible to Jail Women for Having Abortions” by Lynn Paltrow of National Advocates for Pregnant Women
"So Far, 2015 Is On Pace to Set Abortion Restriction Records” by Katie Klabusich at Truthout
Hear the segment in context:
Episode #916 "The history and current state of abortion (Reproductive Justice)"
Written by BOTL social media/activism director Katie Klabusich
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