After her boyfriend left her in January 2011, Indiana resident Bei Bei Shuai — alone and 33 weeks pregnant — was so distraught that she tried to kill herself by swallowing rat poison. The 35-year-old, a Chinese immigrant, survived, but her baby, delivered by Caesarian section, did not.
Shuai, grief-stricken, was transferred to the Indiana hospital’s mental health wing and, two months later, was arrested on charges of attempted feticide and murder. After spending 435 days behind bars, she was finally released on bond in early May, but if convicted in a trial that begins in December, she could get 45 years to life.
Were her actions really a crime, or has she been unfairly caught up in the battle over abortion?