According to published reports, a Nebraska mother and her teenage daughter are facing criminal charges after a teenager miscarried in April, where police obtained her Facebook messages about abortion through a search warrant.

The Lincoln Journal Star reported that 17-year-old Celeste Burgess and her mother, 41-year-old Jessica Burgess, were charged in early June after Jessica Burgess allegedly helped their daughter abort, burn and bury her fetus. Celeste is being tried as an adult in the case.

The Norfolk Police Department originally charged the removal, concealment or discarding of a dead human body – a felony – concealing the death of another person, and false reporting. The report said that the police had received an information which claimed that Celeste had aborted and secretly buried the fetus with the help of her mother. Investigators were able to access her medical records, which showed she was 23 weeks pregnant at the time. Nebraska bans abortion after 20 weeks.

The Journal Star cited court records to say that when police originally interviewed her, Celeste Burgess said she had unexpectedly given birth to her dead child in the shower. The report said that he woke his mother, and they placed the child’s body in a bag and later moved a few miles from the city and buried the body with the help of another person.

The Journal Star said police then served Facebook with a search warrant to access direct messages between the mother and daughter, which allegedly described how Jessica Burgess obtained abortion pills for her daughter. and given instructions on how to take them.

In July, nearly a month after the original allegations, Jessica Burgess was also charged with two more felony counts: aborting or attempting to abort a pregnancy more than 20 weeks, and performing an abortion as an unlicensed doctor.

Jessica Burgess and Celeste Burgess both pleaded not guilty to all charges last week.

In a statement emailed to KPIX 5, Facebook said,

“Prior to the Supreme Court ruling, the valid warrant we received from local law enforcement in early June did not mention abortion. A criminal investigation and court documents related to warrant-related allegations indicate that police at the time were investigating a case. The dead baby who was burnt and buried, not the decision to have an abortion.

“Both of these warrants were originally accompanied by non-disclosure orders, preventing us from sharing any information about them. Now the orders have been removed.”

Forbes reported that the case is one of the first examples of a person’s Facebook activity being used for abortion in a state where abortion is prohibited, according to a June report in the U.S. Following the Supreme Court’s decision to abolish Roe v. Wade.

In March, Cyberscope reported that Facebook’s parent Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg told employees that efforts to expand encryption on the platform would protect those seeking abortions. Wade decision this year, Meta announced that it is one of the first companies to offer reimbursement for employees who have to move out of state for fertility care.

Soon after a June Supreme Court ruling that ended constitutional protections for abortion, Facebook and Instagram began quickly removing posts that provided abortion pills to women who might not have access to them. According to an analysis by media intelligence firm Jignal Labs, Roe v. Wade’s reversal led to a flood of mentions on social media of abortion pills, as well as posts mentioning specific versions like mifepristone and misoprostol.

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