Nebraska woman charged with helping daughter’s abortion

OMAHA, Nebraska (AP) — A Nebraska woman has been charged with helping her teenage daughter terminate her pregnancy at about 24 weeks. Investigators were charged after discovering her Facebook messages where the two discussed plans to use drugs to induce an abortion and then burn the fetus.

The prosecutor in charge of the case said it was the first time he had prosecuted someone for illegally performing an abortion after 20 weeks. Passed in 2010Before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, states were not allowed to ban abortion until the fetus was considered viable outside the womb (about 24 weeks). I did.

In one Facebook message, 41-year-old Jessica Burgess tells her daughter, who was 17 at the time, that she has obtained abortion pills and instructs her on how to take them to end her pregnancy.

Meanwhile, her daughter “talks about how she can’t wait to get the ‘thing’ out of her body,” detectives wrote in court documents. Messages. Law enforcement officials obtained the messages on search warrants and detailed some of them in court documents.

In early June, the mother and daughter were charged with one felony count of removal, concealment, and abandonment of a body, and two misdemeanor counts of concealing and falsely reporting someone else’s death. About a month later, investigators added a felony abortion-related charge against the mother after reviewing her private Facebook messages. The daughter, now 18, has been charged as an adult at the request of the prosecution.

Burgess’ attorney did not immediately respond to a message on Tuesday, and the public defender representing his daughter declined to comment.

In an initial interview, the two told investigators that the teenager unexpectedly gave birth to a stillborn baby while showering in the early hours of April 22. Their van then drove a few miles north of town, where they buried the body with the help of a 22-year-old man.

Charged only with a misdemeanor, the man, whom the Associated Press has not identified, has contested helping to bury the unborn child on rural land owned by his parents north of Norfolk in northeastern Nebraska. No. He is expected to be sentenced later this month.

According to court documents, detectives said the fetus showed signs of “burns,” and the man told investigators that the mother and daughter had been burned. In an exchange of books, the two confirmed they would “burn the evidence later.” Based on medical records, the fetus was over 23 weeks old, detectives wrote.

Burgess later admitted to investigators that she bought abortion pills “with the intention of inducing a miscarriage.”

Neither mother nor daughter initially remembered the date of the stillbirth, but detectives said she later checked Facebook messages to confirm the date. She then said she asked for a warrant.

Madison County Attorney Joseph Smith told the Lincoln Journal Star In his 32 years as county prosecutor, he has never filed such charges in connection with illegally performing abortions. He did not immediately respond to a message from his AP on Tuesday.

The National Advocates for Pregnant Women, a group that supports abortion rights, 1,331 arrests or detentions found Number of women in pregnancy-related offenses from 2006 to 2020.

In addition to current 20-week abortion ban, Nebraska has tried — but failed — Earlier this year, when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, it passed a so-called trigger law banning all abortions.

A Facebook spokesperson declined to discuss the details of the incident, but an official at the social media giant said, “To ensure that it is legally valid, we have received all We are constantly scrutinizing the government’s requests,” he said.

Facebook says it will fight back against requests it deems invalid or overly broad, but of the 59,996 government requests for data in the second half of last year, about 88% provided information to investigators, the company said. Says.