Photograph: Robert Franklin, AP
By Nicky Woolf
Purvi Patel, the 33-year-old woman charged with feticide and child neglect over the death of her unborn child, has been found guilty of all counts by a jury in Indiana.
She was convicted of using abortion drugs that she bought online to terminate her pregnancy, and then also of child neglect once the child was born.
The court heard how Patel kept her pregnancy secret from her parents, who are strict Hindus. Her father testified that he taught the principle of no sex before marriage.
According to local CBS affiliate WSBT, Patel has said that the baby was already dead when it was born, that she tried to revive it, and that she didn’t call 911 because she was in shock.
Court documents show that Patel then went to the St Joseph hospital in Mishawaka, Indiana, bleeding from her vagina. She at first denied having given birth, but told medical staff later that she had delivered a still-born child at home, and had placed the body in a dumpster.
Kathrine Jack, an attorney who has followed the case closely, said that the verdict “sends a message to pregnant women in Indiana that if they have still-birth, or miscarriage, or in some cases seek an abortion they could be criminally investigating and charged for fetucide.”
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