Judge frees Indiana woman from prison after feticide conviction is overturned

Picture of Purvi Patel leaving court

Picture of Purvi Patel leaving court

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana woman whose feticide conviction for a self-induced abortion was overturned has been released from prison after a judge said she should be freed immediately.

Indiana Department of Correction spokesman Doug Garrison says Purvi Patel, 35, was with relatives when she left the Indiana Women’s Prison in Indianapolis Thursday morning.

Patel’s attorney, Lawrence Marshall, says she wants her privacy and is focusing on “putting her life back together.”

In 2013, she delivered her baby prematurely after taking abortion-inducing drugs. She then left his body in a dumpster outside a Mishawaka restaurant.

The Indiana Court of Appeals in July overturned Patel’s 2015 feticide conviction and 20-year prison sentence on a charge of killing her premature infant by taking abortion-inducing drugs.

On Wednesday, a judge resentenced Patel to 18 months on a neglect of a dependent charge but said she should be released immediately because she has already served longer than 18 months in prison.

The court ruled the state legislature did not intend for the feticide law to be used to prosecute women for their own abortions.