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Purvi Patel Case Sets 'Cruel' Precedent for Reproductive Rights


#1

Purvi Patel Case Sets 'Cruel' Precedent for Reproductive Rights

Nadia Prupis, staff writer

Days after Indiana woman Purvi Patel was sentenced to 20 years in prison for feticide over what the state said was an attempt to end her own pregnancy, legal experts and women's rights advocates are slamming the case as cruel and warning that it sets an "alarming" precedent for reproductive rights in the state and around the country.


#3

well Matt: she was abandoned by the father of the fetus. What do you suppose his role and responsibility should be?


#4

So, sitting on your perch of vile self-righteousness, you would order psychotherapy and "needed" (yet somehow also "voluntary") sterilization?

Your comment is offensive and has been flagged.


#5

I will never set foot in Indiana again. Clearly, it is a monster amok. The very words "her own pregnancy" give the lie to this ridiculous, medieval punishment.


#6

What this "lady" needs is to be sure she will be treated fairly if she goes to the doctor for prenatal help...and not to jail.
And probably to stay away from men like yourself.
Free contraception would work too.

Indiana, the way it's going will soon be erecting pyres again.


#7

Agreed. This state has decided to revisit the Dark Ages. Look for witch trials next.

This is one of the most sickening stories that I've seen on CD.

mcp


#8

I may be incorrect but I think Purvi Patel may be of Indian...as in from India...heritage. The irony is that in India, she could visit a local midwife to terminate a pregnancy with the blessings of the national government and local officials. But in the "civilized" U. S., she is to be incarcerated for 20 years while grieving over and mourning the loss of her baby and physically recovering from her miscarriage. But hey, she is just a woman, right?

So much for "freedom" in our country...only applies to rich white males and their wives who can afford secret surgeries performed by their family physicians without any record of them occurring...regardless of their religious beliefs (re: RFRA legislation, a very bad joke played on humankind).


#9

When I was in my thirties and before my son was conceived, my partner and I had unintended pregnancies twice. She found herbs and the pregnancies were over before anyone would have noticed. I was very grateful for her resourcefulness. In Indiana we would have been convicted of "feticide".

I guess we have to acknowledge that many people, those of Indiana in particular, construct the universe in such a way that the death of a fetus is the death of a person. We believe in protecting the life of a person. But this is only a person in a nascent form. It has not engaged socially, it has not produced any social goods. We stretch the definition of "person" when we use it this way. The corollary message is that the purpose of a woman is to produce babies and that she is worthless if she values herself over that "person". But we, the rest of the society, have invested our selves and relied upon the woman, in a way that we can never do with a fetus.

I grew up in the liberal community and with the assumption that the option to have an abortion is a right, and that the life of the woman takes priority over the life of the fetus. I think I have an instinctive protective impulse which finds the death of a fetus regrettable and sad. But I have to ask, whose life is it when the fetus is embedded in the body of the woman? Who has a higher interest to preserve that fetus if that is possible? Who is better positioned to decide whether the investment yet to be made can be made, to make the fulfillment of the potential ultimately possible? As a biologist, I notice that nature does not value life, is profligate with life, and if life is to be wasted until the best opportunity comes for its ultimate expression and prosperity in nature, why not among humans, why would we not decide when is the best time to bring a child into the world? If a woman and a family can afford one child but there are one hundred opportunities for birth, which of these will be chosen? Every month a woman can get pregnant, and over a life a woman committed to maximum reproduction could birth dozens of babies. Does the fact that this is possible mean that it is good? How and when and by whom would the decision be made which of these opportunities is to be expressed?

Ultimately, it is the woman, her partner if she has one, and her other children, who must bear the costs of fulfilling the potential of a new life, and she or they must have the freedom to decide when or even whether to bring a new life into the world. While the fetus remains in the body of the woman, it is part of her, it is dependent on her, and it remains up to her to decide whether to maintain it. Until the fetus becomes a naturally self-sustaining organism, it is of her, and is hers to remove. My instinctive desire to protect the unborn life notwithstanding.

If the state of Indiana were saying to women, "Listen, if you don't want your baby we will find a home for it, so please do not end your pregnancy", I would believe that they cared about life and protecting "unborn children". Without such a plea, I have to believe that the real goal is to perpetuate the control of women and their fertility. It is a legacy of the belief that women belong to men and that men have the right to force themselves on women and force them to have unwanted children. Such control is a legacy of the time when women were property.

We know that laws invoking "feticide" are legacies of patriarchic control of women because we know that women really do not want to birth as many children as they generally do, absent contraception. We know this because when women have access to contraception, they limit their pregnancies and have smaller families. Elsewhere in the world, besides Indiana, women are improving their lives and the lives of their chosen children because they have access to the means of pregnancy limitation. The world has more people than are even good for humanity. Let us focus on the quality of life, not the quantity of life.


#10

Opposition to abortion in the Classical Era (and earlier) was based upon the idea that the "more people, the better". Biblical objections were based upon the concept that a nation's (military) strength was decided by the number of men available for military service. In an age when the spear and the sword decided such matters, "manpower" was of importance. Old Testament Israel was surrounded by nations with larger populations, so the number of men available for military service was of great importance. For this reason, abortion, contraception, anything that might reduce the birthrate was seriously objectionable.

This is not the situation today.


#11

"While the fetus remains in the body of the woman, it is part of her, it is dependent on her, and it remains up to her to decide whether to maintain it. Until the fetus becomes a naturally self-sustaining organism, it is of her, and is hers to remove"

Well put - I have said the same thing myself on a number of occasions ....


#12

There's a pizzeria owner in Indiana who thinks being gay is offensive and refuses to serve gays.

Also, i recommend watching "In the heat of the night", pretty good flick in my opinion. Or at least look up the following quote and its context. Then think again about flagging "offensive" posts.

Sheriff Bill Gillespie, played by Rod Steiger:
"You're just like the rest of us, ain't you?".


#13

"This is quite traumatic and frightening," Paltrow told the New York Times on Wednesday. "Many people would love to see an end to abortion, but a majority of even those people don't want to see women locked up in prison."

Actually it seems to me the only way to stop these lousy laws is to demonstrate their logical conclusion - if you really think that abortion is murder, then you have to punish the perpetrator ....


#14

Most pregnancies end in spontaneous abortions. That's a fact of life. Are they now going to charge half the population of Indiana with a felony?


#15

You are correct. As a non-American (thank heaven!!) I find the emphasis on the sanctity of life before birth and the total lack of any care for women or children, in terms of health, education, housing etc after the birth so hypocritical and self- defeating. Most civilised nations, including Canada, have liberal laws for abortion, BUT the numbers are usually low because pre-natal care and healthcare for mothers and babies is also provided, and contraception and sex education are also available and encouraged, unlike in many US States.


#16

From this and any of your other comments, you're the one that needs psychotherapy...


#17

Wow, I could not have said it any better... thank you ...


#18

What you need is for someone to break your computer.


#19

"But this is only a person in a nascent form. It has not engaged socially, it has not produced any social goods. We stretch the definition of "person" when we use it this way."

Engaging socially or producing social goods is not the test of personhood. Even a newborn qualifies as a person. That is not stretching the definition.

"While the fetus remains in the body of the woman, it is part of her, it is dependent on her, and it remains up to her to decide whether to maintain it."

Basically, that is mere opinion. Without something to back that up, it carries no more weight than contrary opinions. The Roe decision established that society had a legitimate interest in extending independent consideration to third trimester fetuses, even while they remain physically dependent on the person carrying them. You can try arguing for a much laxer standard than that set forth in Roe, but that has fail written all over it. Anti-abortionists love it when abortion rights advocates focus their attentions on late pregnancy.

"If the state of Indiana were saying to women, "Listen, if you don't want your baby we will find a home for it, so please do not end your pregnancy", I would believe that they cared about life and protecting "unborn children"."

I consider "unborn children" to be a contradiction of terms. And I don't think the state's attitude toward children should increase or diminish its standing to regulate what may or may not be done to fetuses.


#20

Most commenting here do not seem to know this, but the form of home-abortion with drugs Ms. Patel presumably chose is well established and fairly safe - although there is some risk of hemorrhaging after 12 weeks. There are various feminist organizations out there that help women (especially where abortion is illegal and in poor countries) through the process of obtaining the drugs on the internet. Here's one such site:

http://iwhc.org/resource/abortion-self-administered-misoprostol-guide-women/


#21

Expect nothing less from a state run by a genteel thug (as so many other states fashionably are).
Ancillary observation: Those who would force women to give birth are conspicuously absent when
the mother can't afford to raise the child. If she needs assistance (and can even get it) then they'll call her a welfare queen. People should not be under arbitrary legal and financial duress, just to satisfy the obvious sadism of (usually Republican politicians).