Petition Filed in Miami Claims Unborn Fetus Hasn’t Received Proper Care with Incarcerated Mother

Petition Filed in Miami Claims Unborn Fetus Hasn’t Received Proper Care with Incarcerated Mother

In a bizarre twist in a second-degree murder case, the rights of an unborn fetus are in question.

NBC Miami reported representatives for Natalia Harrell, an inmate at the Miami-Dade Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, have filed a petition to have her unborn baby released from detention. The petition claims the unborn fetus, spending approximately eight months in the womb, hasn’t received proper prenatal care while the mother is being held without bond.

William Norris, an attorney representing the unborn child, claims the fetus has a right to justice. “An unborn child is a person,” Norris said. “A person has constitutional rights and one of them is the right not to be deprived of liberty without due process of law.”

According to reports, the fetus’ father, Michael O’Brien, filed the petition, raising growing concern for the wellbeing of his child. Attorneys claimed Harrell’s last OBG-YN appointment was in October and the Miami-Dade Corrections Department failed to bring the 24-year-old to a scheduled prenatal medical appointment at a local hospital.

HuffPost reported the inmate was once left in a 100-degree transport van without air conditioning. “I am asserting the right of someone who is a person who has not been considered in the decision to incarcerate his mother,” Norris said.

The unique case is eye-opening to experts across the country. With Roe v. Wade being overturned last year, many are saying more cases like this will come to light, especially in states like Florida.

“A woman’s right to an abortion has been erased from the U.S. Constitution; What we’re beginning to look at more closely is what are the rights of an unborn child and at what point do they begin to arrive?” Kendall Coffey, attorney and legal analyst, told NBC Miami.

“Florida, like most states, has spoken to the rights of an unborn child with respect to the right to be free from homicide — so the homicide statutes include unborn children in Florida and many other places, but other constitutional rights, other statutory rights, are just being developed as we’re all beginning to absorb the new age of post Dobbs.”

Harrell is accused of fatally shooting Gladys Yvette Borcela after an argument in a Uber last July. She pleaded not guilty and is set for trial in April.