The only woman in the United States ever convicted of feticide for ending her own pregnancy has been released from prison.
A jury convicted Purvi Patel of feticide last year for ending her pregnancy by taking abortion-inducing drugs.
But in July, an appeals court decided only third parties who end a pregnancy can be convicted of feticide. The court did uphold a lesser charge of neglect of a dependent.
Lead defense attorney Lawrence Marshall says although the feticide charge would have set a precedent for similar cases, the neglect charge doesn’t carry the same weight.
“That has nothing to do with the precedent involving the abortion issue, which is that a woman in Indiana cannot be prosecuted with regard to her own abortion,” Marshall says.
Patel was resentenced Wednesday to 18 months in prison. With credit for good behavior, she was released Thursday.