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Man given 22 year jail term for spiking girlfriend's drink with abortion pills

11 October 2018

​Manishkumar Patel (left) with his attorney. Source: AP

He said he didn't want another baby with the same medical problems as his son

In another example of the dangers of abusive men being able to access abortion pills, an Indian-American businessman has been sentenced to 22 years in prison by a court in Outagamie County, Wisconsin, after being convicted of spiking his pregnant girlfriend's drink with an abortion-inducing drug.

Spiking her drink

Manishkumar Patel was having an affair with Darshana Patel and the couple already had a son when she became pregnant again in 2007. Ms Patel told police that she became suspicious when she found a powdery substance in a drink he gave her. 

She sent the powder off to a lab for testing, and it turned out to be mifepristone - the abortion pill.

Ms Patel managed to avoid drinking any of the drug-laced smoothie, but miscarried a few weeks later. 

Intentional homicide

Police searching Manishkumar Patel’s home found an envelope containing RU-486 abortion pills. The suspect later told police he had obtained the drugs in India, and he admitted to giving Darshana one pill.

After fleeing the country while on bail, Mr Patel was re-arrested in 2017 and was convicted in August of attempted first-degree intentional homicide of an unborn child. He told the court he didn't want another child because he was afraid the baby would have the same medical problems as his son.

Unlike many jurisdictions, Wisconsin has high consequences for harming an unborn child. Since 1998, the state has ruled that 'the killing of an unborn child’ at any stage of pre-natal development is first-degree intentional homicide, according to the state’s penal code.

In May, a doctor in Virginia was sentenced to twenty years in prison (of which 17 were suspended) for poisoning his girlfriend's tea with abortion pills, and so killing their unborn son. 

Danger of unrestricted use of abortion pills

This case highlights the dangerous use abortion pills can be out to if they are not strictly regulated. Under the Government's new home abortion policy, there is nothing to stop pills getting into the wrong hands, as they no longer have to be taken under medical supervision at a clinic. SPUC has also raised concerns that if the campaign to decriminalise abortion is successful, it would be easier for abusive partners to find abortion pills online and force women into an abortion.

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