Another post-Roe abortion story is dominating the headlines, and it is easy to see why. Nineteen-year-old Celeste Burgess was recently sentenced to 90 days in prison after pleading guilty to a charge of concealing human remains. With the help of her mother, she had procured abortion pills online, which killed her pre-born baby at about 28 weeks.
Nebraska now bans abortion at 12 weeks (which is the limit common to most European countries), but when Burgess killed her child with pills at age 17, the limit in Nebraska was 20 weeks. The police opened an investigation into both Burgess and her mother Jessica in June 2022 before Roe v. Wade was overturned — the charges faced by the two thus predate Dobbs.
When initially confronted by police, Burgess told them that she had delivered a stillborn baby, but Facebook messages revealed that she had conferred with her mother on how to get abortion pills and how to “burn the evidence.” The mother and daughter carried the dead baby into a field north of Norfolk in northeastern Nebraska, burned the body, and then buried the remains. Burgess pled guilty to “removing, concealing, or abandoning a dead body;” her mother will be sentenced in September.
According to the Associated Press, “Under a plea agreement, Jessica Burgess, 42, of Norfolk, admitted to providing an abortion after 20 weeks of gestation, false reporting and tampering with human skeletal remains. Charges of concealing the death of another person and abortion by someone other than a licensed physician were dismissed.”
Predictably, abortion activists see this case as evidence of cruel prosecutions in a post-Roe America, despite the fac that the pair had violated a pre-Dobbs 20-week ban. Because of the Facebook messages cited as evidence in the prosecutor’s case in court documents, some have expressed concerns about Big Tech protecting the privacy of women having illegal abortions — illegal abortions, it must be noted, that activists are openly promising to facilitate and assist in any way that they can.
What none of them are talking about is the baby who was killed. Burgess was in the third trimester. At that stage, the baby would be about 25 cm long and, according to a popular pregnancy website, be fully developed: “Not only can your little one open and close their eyes now, but they also have little eyelashes. Your baby may be moving around and changing positions a lot at 28 weeks pregnant and over the next few weeks — prepare for some little somersaults!”