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Indian American Purvi Patel’s case could prove pivotal for reproductive rights of women

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Purvi Patel shortly after her arrest

Purvi Patel shortly after her arrest

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (Diya TV) — Purvi Patel, an Indian-American woman who was recently sentenced to a 20-year prison sentence for feticide, is appealing the conviction, and the case is being watched closely by activists and experts alike who believe the judgement could set a new precedent in reproductive rights and the criminalization of abortion.

The appeal will be heard on May 23.

In March of last year, Patel became the first woman in the U.S. to be convicted and sentenced for committing feticide, after she ended her own pregnancy. Patel claimed innocence against the charge, saying she had in fact had a miscarriage. When she arrived at the hospital bleeding, her doctor contacted the authorities.

Patel was charged with feticide, inducing an abortion, child neglect and for allegedly having a premature baby and then allowing the baby to die — a rather inconsistent strain of charges, some have argued.

Farah Diaz-Tello, senior staff attorney at the National Advocates for Pregnant Women, said during a recent interview that if Indiana permits Patel’s prosecution, it will forever change the way women can be punished for such incidents.

“The state has used laws that were never intended to punish pregnant people for losing or ending a pregnancy, and now unless the appellate court steps in, anyone who self-induces an abortion at any stage (which is becoming increasingly common as abortion clinics vanish) could be charged with feticide,” Diaz-Tello said.

She added that permitting a woman to be prosecuted based on the outcome of a pregnancy could set a precedent which requires women to prove that a miscarriage or stillbirth was unintentional.

Miriam Yeung, executive director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, said that knowing what happened to Patel could lead to other women fearing hospital visits if they are experiencing a miscarriage, particularly if they are immigrants.

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“Immigrant women already face barriers in accessing healthcare,” Yeung said. “Unfortunately the actions of this doctor have created further misinformation for immigrant women, particularly pregnant women of color, who may now be more hesitant to access emergency healthcare.”

Adding fuel to the fire, Oklahoma last week passed a law which would revoke the license of any doctor who performs an abortion for any reason other than to save a woman’s life. The offense would send them to prison for up to three years. The bill describes abortion as “unprofessional conduct” on par with writing false prescriptions and having sex with patients. It makes no mention of, and provides no exceptions for those abortions which are requested because of rape or incest.

According to multiple reports, Dr. Kelly McGuire of St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center was the doctor on call who contacted police when Patel came to the emergency room. Dr. McGuire is listed as pro-life through his association with the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists. After he made the initial call, McGuire also assisted police in the search for Patel’s stillborn fetus, according to a report from Salon

During Patel’s trial, it was McGuire who proclaimed a live birth had taken place, however, Shaku Teas, a pathologist who testified on behalf of the defense, said the baby was stillborn. Teas told the court the fetus’ lungs weren’t developed enough to breathe.

 

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“Look at India. It’s filthy!” Trump exclaims during debate

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“Look at India. It's filthy!” Trump exclaims during debate | Diya TV News

NASHVILLE (Diya TV) — Former Vice President Biden and President Trump held their second and final debate in Nashville. The tone of the event was markedly improved from the first debate, thanks largely because of a rule implemented that muted the microphone during dedicated speaking times. We’ll analyze the key moments, including when President Trump called China, India and Russia “filthy” when discussing climate change.

WATCH what the President said about India here:

President Trump claims “India is filthy!” at the Presidential Debate

The State of California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing voluntarily dismissed their federal lawsuit accusing Cisco Systems Inc. and two of their former employees of discriminating against an Indian American Dalit engineer. No explanation was given, but state officials said they will refile the matter in state court.

Dr. Mukul Chandra, a prominent cardiologist in the Toledo, Ohio area, has died from complications related to COVID-19. He was 57. 

Dr. Chandra was the medical director of Cardiac Preventive Care and Research at Miami Valley Hospital and received a plasma donation as a possible remedy for the virus. And hundreds of people around the globe offered their help.

WATCH the full debate here:

Last Presidential 2020 Debate between President Donald Trump and Vice President Joe Biden

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Biden & Harris issue happy Navratri greetings

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Biden & Harris issue happy Navratri greetings | Diya TV News

WILMINGTON, Delaware (Diya TV) — Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris continue their efforts to court the Indian diaspora, as each issued Navratri greetings. Biden & his wife Jill sent their best wishes, tweeting “may good once again triumph over evil.” And Harris and her husband Doug added “may this holiday serve as an inspiration to…build a more inclusive and just America.”

But at the same time, Harris’ niece Meena deleted an image she posted of her auntie being depicted as Goddess Durga, which led to a petition asking her to apologize. Meena Harris is a lawyer, entrepreneur and daughter of Kamala Harris’ sister, Maya. The image she posted photoshopped Kamala Harris’ face onto Hindu Goddess Durga, showing Joe Biden as her lion and President Trump as a demon she slays.

The chances of finding Indian American professor Sam Dubal, who has been missing for nearly two weeks, appear to be waning. Dubal went on a backpacking trip near Mt. Rainier in Washington state and hasn’t been seen since. Authorities say cold and snowy weather is hampering their chances of finding the University of Washington professor.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Man stabbed during brawl at Sikh temple near Seattle

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Man stabbed during brawl at Sikh temple near Seattle | Diya TV News

RENTON, Wa. (Diya TV) — At least six people were injured and one of them was briefly hospitalized with stab wounds during a brawl at the Gurudwara Singh Sabha in Renton, Washington. Renton Police say at least 20 people at the temple were fighting when police arrived. Police added a similar incident happened last week at a Sikh temple in Kent, Washington. Sources tell Diya TV the skirmish was between people that were pro-India and folks that did not view India in a favorable light. No arrests were made.

The Quad military alliance is complete after Australia agreed to be part of the Malabar Exercise to be held in Bay of Bengal next month, joining the United States, India and Japan as part of the naval exercise.

As seen on Diya TV, the South Asian Bar Association held a Presidential Town Hall featuring Asheesh Agarwal, a member of Indian Voices for Trump advisory board and Neera Tanden, the CEO of the Center for American Progress, moderated by journalist and professor Sree Sreenivasan.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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