Last month, women’s health advocates cautiously celebrated when the Court of Appeals of Indiana overturned Purvi Patel’s conviction for feticide. While the decision technically meant that her 20-year sentence for allegedly self-inducing an abortion and discarding the fetal remains was vacated, there was concern that the state’s attorney would appeal the ruling.
NBC News reports that Monday’s (August 22) deadline to appeal came and went without a request to the Indiana Supreme Court, which means the July ruling stands. The court’s decision to overturn the conviction is key for abortion rights movement, as it makes it clear that municipalities cannot legally jail women for the outcomes of their pregnancies.
The July 22 ruling threw out the feticide charge for Patel, a now-35-year-old woman of Indian descent, and downgraded her remaining charge from a class A felony to a class D felony neglect of a dependent. That charge could carry up to three years of incarceration, reduced to 18 months for good behavior. Patel has already served about 17 months behind bars, meaning she could be released in September 2016.