A 17-year-old girl and her mother have been charged with a series of felonies and misdemeanors after an apparent medical abortion at their Nebraska home.
The state’s case is based on evidence from the teen’s private Facebook messages, obtained directly from the social network by court order, showing that the mother and daughter allegedly purchased abortion-inducing drugs online and then They disposed of the body of the fetus.
While the court documents allege that the abortion took place before the Supreme Court, they show in shocking detail how abortion can and will be prosecuted in the United States, and how law enforcement will enlist tech companies to assist in investigations.
According to court records, Celeste Burgess, 17, and her mother, Jessica Burgess, purchased a drug called Pregnot designed to terminate pregnancy. Pregnot is a kit of mifepristone and misoprostol, often used to stop pregnancy in the first trimester. In this case, Burgess was 28 weeks pregnant, which is later than when these drugs are recommended. It also exceeds the 20-week period established by the Neraska law, this measure makes exceptions only if the pregnant person is at risk of death or “serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical deterioration of an important bodily function.” (Nebraska’s abortion laws have not changed since Roe v Wade was overturned.)
Jessica Burgess is charged with several felonies:
- Perform or attempt an abortion after 20 weeks.
- Performing an abortion by an unlicensed doctor
- Extract or hide a dead human body.
- Excise/conceal or abandon the dead human body
- Hide the death of another person and report falsely.
She is being tried as an adult. Some details of the case were previously reported by and .