by Sharon H. Chang
In February/March of this year Purvi Patel, a 33-year-old Indian-American woman, became the first woman in the U.S. to be charged, convicted and sentenced for feticide and child neglect over the loss of her late-term fetus.
It started with barely a hunch. I read, “resulted from…relationship with a married co-worker,” “didn’t want her conservative Hindu parents to know,” “shouldn’t have sex outside of marriage,” and a light bulb was dimly lit in my mind. I reflected on those words and in them I saw boundaries, boundary-crossing: (cis)female/male, married/unmarried, Hindu/non-Hindu, proper/improper, faith/fear, expectation/defiance. The light bulb grew brighter; an unformed contemplation sat vaguely in the corner. Then other details emerged: immigrant/American, authority/subordinate, empowered/disempowered, justice/injustice. The light bulb grew even brighter, illuminating an idea that stood up and stepped forward out of shadow.
Powerful article. Thank you for sharing Sharon!