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Nebraska mother, teen charged in abortion case after Facebook data obtained

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A Nebraska mother and teenager have been face felony charges after allegedly ordering abortion medication online and then buried the fetus. Photo by Alex Hofford/EPA
A Nebraska mother and teenager have been face felony charges after allegedly ordering abortion medication online and then buried the fetus. Photo by Alex Hofford/EPA

Aug. 10 (UPI) -- A Nebraska woman and her teenage daughter face criminal charges for allegedly ordering medication online to end the teen's pregnancy and burning and burying the fetus in a case that involves digital evidence from Facebook.

In court filings, police in Madison County allege that Celeste Burgess, who was 17 at the time, said in April she had a miscarriage at home. Celeste Burgess and her mother, Jessica Burgess, allegedly tried to burn the fetus before burying it with help from a 22-year-old man, according to court records.

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Law enforcement investigators obtained Facebook evidence that included private Facebook messages between Celeste Burgess and her mother, Jessica Burgess, that allegedly showed the mother had ordered oral medication online to end her daughter's pregnancy.

According to the Lincoln Journal-Star, the detective who got the Facebook evidence wrote, "C. Burgess talks about how she can't wait to get the 'thing' out of her body and reaffirms with J. Burgess that they will burn the evidence afterward."

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Investigators also obtained medical records to determine that Celeste was more than 23 weeks pregnant when the medication abortion occurred, violating Nebraska's 20-week abortion ban.

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Nebraska Right To Life praised the prosecution, saying, "Nebraskans should be appalled by the lack of dignity given to this baby's body."

Celeste Burgess, now 18, is charged with a felony for removing, concealing or abandoning a human body along with two misdemeanor charges for false reporting and concealing the death of another person.

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Jessica Burgess is charged with three felonies, including performing an abortion after the 20-week limit, doing an abortion as a non-doctor, and removing, concealing or abandoning a human body.

State Sen. Megan Hunt of Omaha said Nebraska is "prosecuting people for their pregnancy outcomes."

RELATED Texas abortion law turns wanted pregnancy into medical nightmare

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