A Nebraska young woman whose mother is accused of doing an illegal, late-term abortion that killed her unborn grandchild reportedly wanted the abortion because she would “finally be able to wear jeans” again.
The Lincoln Journal Star reports Celeste Burgess, 18, of Norfolk, was nearly 24 weeks pregnant in April when her mother, Jessica Burgess, 41, allegedly gave the teenager abortion pills to kill her unborn baby, according to police. Later, police said the two burned and buried the baby’s body.
Both mother and daughter recently were charged in the incident and pleaded not guilty in court.
Norfolk police said they uncovered messages between the mother and daughter through Facebook Messenger that indicate the teen wanted to abort her viable, late-term unborn baby, and her mother obtained abortion pills to do it.
The messages show a callous disregard for the unborn baby’s life even though the child already was basically fully formed and capable of surviving outside the womb. According to police, Celeste Burgess told her mother that she “can’t wait to get the ‘thing’ out of her body” and she was looking forward to wearing jeans again.
[Norfolk Police Detective Ben] McBride then applied and got a warrant to seize phones and laptops and compelled Facebook to turn over messages.
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He found messages from Jessica Burgess indicating that she has obtained abortion pills for her daughter and giving her instructions on how to take them. She also wrote about a plan “to burn the evidence afterward.”
Celeste Burgess “talks about how she can’t wait to get the ‘thing’ out of her body,” the detective wrote. “I will finally be able to wear jeans,” she says in another message.
Initially, police said Jessica Burgess told them that her daughter had gone into premature labor and gave birth to a stillborn baby on April 22. However, police said they later found records of conversations between the mother and daughter about abortion drugs.
According to CBS News, Jessica Burgess’s charges in Madison County District Court include performing or attempting an abortion at greater than 20 weeks, performing an abortion when not a licensed doctor, removing/concealing/abandoning a dead human body, concealing the death of another person and false reporting.
Celeste Burgess also was charged with removing/concealing/abandoning a dead human body, concealing the death of another person and false reporting, according to the report.
A third individual, Tanner Barnhill, 22, admitted to police that he helped the Burgesses bury the baby’s body. He pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of attempting to concealing the death of another person, the report states.
Meanwhile, abortion activists are using the case to stir up outrage, claiming pro-life laws unfairly punish women for abortions. Some even urged women to delete Facebook because the social media company provided information to police in response to a search warrant, according to Newsweek.
“Nothing in the valid warrants we received from local law enforcement in early June, prior to the Supreme Court decision, mentioned abortion,” Meta, the parent company of Facebook, responded in a statement. “The warrants concerned charges related to a criminal investigation and court documents indicate that police at the time were investigating the case of a stillborn baby who was burned and buried, not a decision to have an abortion.”
Initially, police said their investigation centered around the improper disposal of the baby’s body. However, after further investigation, they said they discovered evidence of the illegal abortion.
Abortions are legal for any reason up to 20 weeks in Nebraska, and illegal abortion charges are extremely rare. Madison Country attorney Joseph Smith said this is his first case involving abortion charges in his 32 years of practice, News 18 reports.
The teen is not facing abortion charges, only her mother is. Jessica Burgess is charged because she allegedly put her daughter’s life at risk and killed her unborn grandchild by performing an illegal, late-term abortion.
Late-term abortions are risky for the pregnant mother as well as her unborn baby, and some states that allow late-term abortions require that they be done by a licensed doctor in a hospital because the risks are so high.
It is not clear from reports what abortion drugs Jessica Burgess allegedly obtained for her daughter, but the most common, mifepristone and misoprostol, are not recommended after the first 10 weeks of pregnancy.
Abortion activists claim stories like these prove that the pro-life movement wants to punish mothers for aborting their unborn babies, but the truth is that pro-life laws protect both mothers and babies from abortions.
Recently, pro-life leaders representing 70 organizations published an open letter opposing laws that punish mothers for abortions. The pro-life movement supports laws that prosecute abortionists and those who help them abort unborn babies.
LifeNews Note: File photo.