An Indiana judge has ruled that US citizen Purvi Patel, who was charged with foetal homicide for inducing her own abortion, should be freed immediately as her 20-year prison sentence was set aside in July, Independent reported. St Joseph Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Hurley gave Patel an 18-month term for neglect of a dependent, but she has already served three years in prison, and can thus walk free. The judge on Wednesday said the 35-year-old does not need to be placed on parole.
On July 23, the Indiana Court of Appeals overturned a previous verdict that had sentenced the Indian-American to two decades in prison for the incident that took place in 2013. She was arrested in July that year. Quashing the previous verdict, the court observed that the state's law was not meant to be used "to prosecute women for their own abortions." Although the judge reduced Patel's child neglect conviction from class A felony to class D, the court observed that there was enough evidence to prove that she knew the infant was born alive.
Patel bought abortion-inducing drugs from an online pharmacy as she did not want her family to know about her pregnancy. She miscarried after taking the medicine and had to go to a medical centre with heavy bleeding. The doctors called the police, who found the infant's body. Patel, who was 32 at the time, was arrested soon after.