Indiana: Where You Can Go to Prison for a Poorly-Timed Miscarriage

Oh, sweet people of these United States, the Rude Pundit cannot express how much he loathes Indiana. He lived there for a good seven years, and it is like the third nipple of his life story: weird, useless, and aesthetically displeasing to all but the most perverse.  Imagine charming middle America, and then fill it with shit - shitty people, shitty landscape, shitty food, shitty big events, just shit. And then make sure that the people not only don't care that they're shitty, but they love it. They just love all the shit and wallow in it and coat themselves in it and elect the shittiest of themselves to lead them and then pretend to be shocked, just shocked when something shitty happens, which just makes them even shittier than they were in the first place, which was pretty damn shitty.

That's Indiana. Its license plates should read, "Scat Fiends' Paradise."

This has been a terrible week or so for Hoosiers (let's not get started on the utter and complete stupidity of that word). Most of the country is pissed off that the legislature passed and Governor Mike Pence signed into law something that quite clearly and by design was written specifically so that fundamentalist Christians didn't have to serve gay people. Then everyone was pissed because Pence kept denying that the law that was created to legalize discrimination against the LGBT community was created to legalize discrimination against the LGBT community. Get ready for the backlash to the backlash, where all the people who really want to discriminate against the LGBT community get all pissed off that they might not be able to do so.

But if you want another dose of uncut Midwestern fucknuttery and blatant cruelty masking enormous injustice, look no further than northern Indiana. No, not the poverty-stricken hellhole of Gary. Further east, in the Granger/Mishawaka area. The Rude Pundit told you in February about Purvi Patel, an Indian-American woman who was scared of her strict Hindu parents because she got pregnant from sex outside of marriage. When she miscarried the fetus, she tossed it into a dumpster behind her family's restaurant. She was arrested and found guilty of both feticide and child neglect.

Yesterday, she was sentenced to 20 years in prison because she didn't handle her miscarriage in the way that the state of Indiana believed she should have. She could have been given a suspended sentence or house arrest because, you know, she was kind of fucked up by the whole situation, but the prosecutor in St. Joseph County wanted to send a message to women: Your fetus is more important than you.

At the trial, the prosecution couldn't prove that the fetus had lived outside the womb, couldn't prove that Patel had taken the abortifacients she had ordered online but said she never ingested, and couldn't establish the actual gestational age of the fetus to show whether or not it could have survived the miscarriage. That didn't matter. What mattered was that Patel wrapped the body in plastic in a panic and dumped it. Then she went to the hospital for severe vaginal bleeding.

Patel is the first woman in the United States to be sent to prison for feticide. And with the number of Indiana clinics performing abortions dwindling down to possibly just two in the entire state, the burden on women who want to end their pregnancies will be greater.  So if a woman tries to abort her fetus herself (and there's no real evidence that Purvi did that), instead of compassion and outreach and counseling and forgiveness, Indiana is saying, "Lock the bitch up."

Stay shitty, Indiana.  Who are we kidding? Of course, you will.