Feticide Law in USA Punishes Migrant Women of Colour
Purvi Patel is the first woman in the USA to be convicted of feticide (describing an act that leads to the death of a foetus). She suffered a miscarriage, and with no support, she tried to conceal the stillborn, but admitted her condition in hospital when seeking treatment for bleeding. She is from a Hindu background, where sex outside of marriage is condemned. She is sentenced to spend two decades behind bars – a travesty of justice that serves patriarchal ideals. The American law of feticide is not really about protecting women or babies, but rather it’s about punishing vulnerable, desperate women and ultimately discourages others from seeking help when they are trying to deal with an unplanned pregnancy.
While hers is the first conviction, this is not the first arrest under feticide law. Another woman of migrant background was arrested and held for two years under similar harrowing conditions. “Women of colour, especially those who are immigrants or come from immigrant families, are especially vulnerable when it comes to navigating our country’s legal system and often don’t have the same protections and resources other women do.”
If you’re in the USA, sign this petition to the White House to release Patel: http://buff.ly/1C1AdrF