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Pregnant prisoner argues her unborn baby should be released from jail

Pregnant prisoner argues her unborn baby should be released from jail

Natalia Harrell will give birth in prison if she is not released

A pregnant prisoner is arguing that her unborn baby should be released from jail when it is born, as she awaits her murder trial.

Natalia Harrell, 24, is accused of fatally shooting Gladys Borcela during an argument in an Uber last summer.

Ms Harrell was just six weeks pregnant when she was arrested on second-degree murder charges in July 2022.

Ms Harrell is currently being held at the Miami-Dade Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center as she awaits her trial.

In a new plea, Harrell is claiming that her unborn baby is being unlawfully detained, with an emergency petition launched to change things.

Natalia Harrell is being held at the Miami-Dade Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.
Miami Dade Corrections

Ms Harrell's lawyer has argued that jail staff have endangered the child through "a lack of reasonable and necessary prenatal care," with the argument also drawing on the concept that a foetus is a person with rights.

Ms Harrell's attorney, William Norris, has also argued that the mother should be released from jail so that she can receive proper medical treatment in the run-up to giving birth.

Mr Norris also claims in his filing that his client has not had an OBGYN appointment since October, which makes it hard to determine how far along the pregnancy really is and when to expect the child to be born.

He told The Washington Post: "An unborn child has rights independent of its mother, even though it’s still in the womb.

"The unborn child has been deprived of due process of law in this incarceration.

"You simply have to have the unborn child as a factor in the equation."

In the filing, Mr Norris expanded on the issue with the unborn baby, he wrote: "UNBORN CHILD will be likely brought into this world on the concrete floor of the prison cell, without the aid of qualified medical physicians and paramedics, and in the presence of violent criminals.

Ms Harrell's attorney is arguing that she should be released.
Gustav Gonget / G&B Images / Alamy Stock Photo

"The State has placed the UNBORN CHILD in such inherently dangerous environment by placing the UNBORN CHILD in close proximity to violent criminal offenders."

As reported by the BBC, the Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department said in a statement it was "conducting a full review of the health services offered and received to ensure that all pre-natal care being provided in our custody is appropriate."

Ms Harrell has pleaded not guilty to the second-degree murder, with Mr Norris adding in his petition that she acted in self-defence 'in fear of her life and the life of her unborn child'.

Featured Image Credit: Tetra Images / Alamy Stock Photo / Andrey Zhuravlev / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Parenting, Health