Professors take up Purvi Patel's appeal of feticide conviction

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By: Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) – Law professors say they’ll defend at no cost an Indiana woman seeking to overturn her conviction in the death of her premature infant.

Thirty-three-year-old Purvi Patel of Granger was sentenced to 20 years in prison in March. Prosecutors said she took drugs from China to end her pregnancy rather go through a medical abortion.

Authorities claimed Patel gave birth prematurely, threw her baby in the trash and lied to hospital staff. She was convicted on charges of neglect of a baby and feticide.

The South Bend Tribune reports the professors who say they’ll defend Patel are Indiana University’s Joel Schumm and Stanford University’s Lawrence Marshall. Marshall co-founded the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University.

National Advocates for Pregnant Woman says Patel’s case was the first time a woman in the U.S. was convicted and sentenced for trying to end her pregnancy.