Farah Diaz-Tello is senior staff attorney with National Advocates for Pregnant Women. She is a graduate of the City University of New York School of Law where she was a Haywood Burns Fellow in Civil and Human Rights, and focused on international women’s human rights and reproductive justice. She is a proud Texan and aluma of the University of Texas at Austin.
Purvi Patel's 41-year sentence for contradictory charges is a glaring reminder of the fact that abortion’s legal status in the United States does not mean prosecutions for pregnancy loss can’t happen here.
Women were once seen as "second victims" of abortion. Now, as women face murder trials for unintended pregnancy losses, they're potential fodder for a prison system that is steadily becoming one of the biggest businesses in the country.
From a tragic case in Massachusetts has emerged a rule affirming women’s fundamental personhood: “All births, regardless of venue, carry inherent risks; in the ordinary course, competent women who are pregnant may weigh these risks themselves and make decisions about the course of their own pregnancies and childbirths.”
Abortion is morally defensible because women are the best arbiters of whether or not they are ready to bear a child, not because it is a way for society to prevent the births of babies perceived as undesirable.