Wisconsin Court Holds Hearing on Forced Abortion Victim’s Money Request

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 29, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Wisconsin Court Holds Hearing on Forced Abortion Victim’s Money Request

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
May 29
, 2008

Appleton, WI (LifeNews.com) — A local Wisconsin judge held a hearing on Wednesday concerning a request from a woman who was a victim of an attempted forced abortion. Darshana Patel, 39, received a spiked drink from her boyfriend Manishkumar Patel, who laced it with a dangerous abortion drug to try to cause her baby’s death.

Manish Patel, no relation to Darshana, appears to have fled the country back to his native India after posting $750,000 in bond that he raised from friends, family and businesses associates.

In March, Outagamie County Circuit Judge John Des Jardins held a hearing where six relatives showed they are suffering a financial hardship because they lent Patel five-figure sums of money to go towards his bail.

They requested $80,000 of the $750,000 in bail money.

Jardins ruled that some of the relatives can have their money returned, but he denied approving the return of some of the bond money to businesses associates. He said they have the option of filing lawsuits against Patel’s business interests to regain the money.

On Wednesday, Darshana’s attorney, former state attorney general Peg Lautenschlager, said Darshana should receive some of the bond money because of security measures she’s had to take to protect herself with Manish on the lam.

The judge agreed to give her nearly $6,200 but held off on providing other funds because of further paperwork needed to make the rest of the expenses part of the court record.

Other expenses could include Patel’s medical records showing the amount she’s had to pay for treatment related to the attempted forced abortion.

"This is a whole new area of the law for everybody. None of us have been involved in a procedure today," Lautenschlager said according to a WBAY-TV report. "As to other expenses, I think there’s somewhat of a dispute between the victim and the state."

"We’re encouraged by what we got to see today," Lautenschlager added, saying she looked forward to another hearing to discuss more money given to Darshana from the $664,000 the state retained.

In January, Judge Jardins ruled Manish Patel has given up the rights associated with the bail money.

There is still no information on Manish Patel’s whereabouts.

Criminal charges in connection with the case will stay open until he returns or is extradited back to the United States to face trial. He has been charged with attempted first-degree homicide of an unborn child, six other felonies and two misdemeanors.

He is accused of obtaining the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug from India and putting it in Darshana’s drink.

Officials say Patel has attempted to contact Darshana repeatedly since fleeing.

Darshana never drank the concoction but turned it over to authorities after suspecting foul play. Tests revealed the presence of the mifepristone abortion drug.

The first crime is a result of a law pro-life advocates pushed for to provide protection and justice for pregnant women and their unborn children when they are victims of attack.

Wisconsin’s Fetal Homicide Law was enacted in 1998.

The law recognizes unborn children as separate victims when they are killed or injured as the result of violence directed toward the unborn child’s mother or the unborn child by a third party. The law applies regardless of the gestational age of the unborn child.

According to the National Right to Life Committee, 36 states recognize the unlawful killing of an unborn child as homicide in at least some circumstances. Some 26 of those laws protect pregnant women and their unborn children throughout pregnancy and another 10 offer justice only after viability.

The abortion drug has been responsible for killing 13 women worldwide and injuring another 1,100 in the United States alone.