Woman Who Burned Her Aborted Fetus Gets 90 Days In Jail

Julianna Frieman Contributor
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A woman who burned an aborted fetus now faces 90 days in jail.

The 18-year-old suspect from northeastern Nebraska was sentenced Thursday to 90 days in prison with two years of probation after burning and burying her own aborted fetus with the help of her mother, according to The Associated Press.

Celeste Burgess, a Norfolk native, pleaded guilty to charges of abandoning or concealing a dead body before being sentenced in Madison County, AP reported. Prosecutors reached an agreement with Burgess to drop two misdemeanor charges of false reporting and concealing the death of another person, according to the outlet.

“The court specifically finds that while probation is appropriate, confinement is necessary because without this confinement, it would depreciate the seriousness of of the crime or promote disrespect for the law,” the judge’s order read, per AP. (RELATED: Kirby Says Free Travel For Abortions Are Critical To Recruiting Women Soldiers)

Jessica Burgess, the 42-year-old mother of the suspect, helped her daughter abort her pregnancy by ordering abortion pills for her then-17-year-old daughter to take in the spring of 2022, the outlet noted.

Celeste was 29 weeks pregnant at the time of the abortion, nine weeks past the gestational cutoff in Nebraska at the time, according to the New York Post.

Jessica pleaded guilty to proving an illegal abortion, false reporting and tampering with human skeletal remains. Two separate charges of concealing the death of another person and abortion by someone other than a licensed physician were dismissed in exchange for her guilty plea. She will be sentenced on Sept. 22.

Police obtained a search warrant to access Facebook messages between Celeste and her mother, in which the two planned the abortion and their efforts to destroy evidence, per AP.

“I will finally be able to wear jeans,” Celeste said in Facebook messages to Jessica, according to court documents, the outlet noted.

Police found the fetal remains buried north of Norfolk, AP reported.

After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022, Nebraska Republicans failed to pass a bill that would outlaw abortion after six weeks’ gestation. In May, Republican Gov. Jim Pillen signed a 12-week ban, CBS News reported.