Nebraska Mom Gets 2 Years in Prison After Buying Abortion Pills for Her Teen Daughter

“Here's the audacity: Self-managed abortion is not even a crime in fucking Nebraska,” an advocate told Jezebel. The case is a harbinger of more criminalization.

By Susan Rinkunas
Sep 22, 2023

On Friday, a Nebraska judge sentenced Jessica Burgess to two years in prison after she bought abortion pills for her teen daughter and helped bury the fetal remains in early 2022, according to reporters from Norfolk Daily News and Courthouse News. The sentencing went forward without a court-ordered psychological evaluation that the judge canceled for lack of funding last week. Burgess had faced up to five years in prison after she accepted a plea deal. With good behavior, she could be released in a year.

Burgess pled guilty in July to three charges (tampering with human remains, false reporting, and abortion after 20 weeks’ gestation) in exchange for prosecutors dropping two others (concealing the death of another person and abortion by someone other than a licensed physician). ​​States have criminalized people for their pregnancy outcomes for decades—even, as in this case, while​​ Roe v. Wade stood—but advocates worry these types of charges, against people seeking abortion and those who help them, will only become more frequent as millions of people live under state abortion bans.


Nebraska mom pleads guilty to giving daughter pills for an abortion and helping bury the fetus

July 7, 2023
By The Associated Press

MADISON, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska mother pleaded guilty Friday to giving her 17-year-old daughter pills for an illegal abortion last year and helping to burn and bury the fetus.

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.


Conservative attacks on US abortion and trans healthcare come from the same place

Both are part of a project to roll back the victories of the feminist and gay rights movements and inscribe in law a firm definition and hierarchy of gender

Moira Donegan
Wed 24 May 2023

On Monday, Jim Pillen, the Republican governor of Nebraska, signed a law that bans abortion after 12 weeks of pregnancy and restricts gender-affirming care for anyone under 19. The ban on trans medical care takes effect in October and the abortion ban goes into effect immediately. And so Nebraska has become the latest state to determine through law what might have once been determined by the more pliable tools of custom or imagination: the way that the sexed body a person is born with shapes the kind of life they can live.

Be it through forced pregnancy or prohibited transition, the state of Nebraska now claims the right to determine what its citizens will do with their sexed bodies – what those bodies will look like, how they will function and what they will mean. It is a part of the right’s ongoing project to roll back the victories of the feminist and gay rights movements, to re-establish the dominance of men in public life, to narrow possibilities for difference and expression and to inscribe in law a firm definition and hierarchy of gender: that people are either men or women and that men are better.


Republicans reject abortion bans as ‘campaign-enders’ in warning to party

As states continue to bring in tighter restrictions on abortion, internal divisions within the GOP are starting to show

Poppy Noor
Thu 4 May 2023

In one state, Republican women filibustered to block a near-total abortion ban introduced by their own party. In another, the Republican co-sponsor of a six-week abortion ban subsequently tanked his own bill. On the federal level, a Republican congresswoman warns that the GOP’s abortion stance could mean “losing huge” in 2024.

As states continue to bring in tighter restrictions on abortion following the fall of Roe v Wade, internal divisions within the Republican party on the issue are starting to show.


USA – Outspoken abortion provider LeRoy ‘Lee’ Carhart dies at 81

by Lisa Baumann, The Associated Press
Apr 28, 2023

LeRoy “Lee” Carhart, who emerged from a two-decade career as an Air Force surgeon to become one of the best-known late-term abortion providers in the United States, has died. He was 81.

Carhart died Friday, according to Clinics for Abortions & Reproductive Excellence in Bellevue, Nebraska, where he was the medical director. His cause of death was not released by the clinic.

Carhart began focusing on abortions after retiring from the Air Force in 1985. He was one of only a handful of late-term abortion providers in the U.S. and was among the most vocal.


Anti-abortion bills fail in GOP-controlled Nebraska and South Carolina

By Chandelis Duster, CNN
Fri April 28, 2023

Measures that would have severely restricted abortion failed Thursday in Nebraska and South Carolina, which both have Republican-controlled legislatures, a reflection of the growing unease among Republicans over the political popularity of strict bans.  

In Nebraska, a “Heartbeat Act” would have banned most abortions after six weeks except in cases of rape or incest or to preserve the life of the mother once a “fetal heartbeat” was detected, but it stalled in the legislature. … On Thursday afternoon, the South Carolina state Senate failed to pass the “Human Life Protection Act,” which would have banned abortions in the state, in a 22-21 vote with five women voting against it.


Nebraska – Facebook gave police their private data. Now, this duo face abortion charges

Experts say it underscores the importance of encryption and minimizing the amount of user data tech companies can store
Johana Bhuiyan
Wed 10 Aug 2022

In the wake of the supreme court’s upheaval of Roe v Wade, tech workers and privacy advocates expressed concerns about how the user data tech companies stored could be used against people seeking abortions.

When a Facebook staffer posed the dilemma to the chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, asking how the platform would protect the user data of individuals seeking abortion care, Zuckerberg said the company’s ongoing push to encrypt messaging would help protect people from “bad behavior or over-broad requests for information”.

Nebraska woman charged with helping daughter have abortion

Investigators uncovered Facebook messages in which the two allegedly discussed using medication to induce an abortion.

Aug 9, 2022

OMAHA, Nebraska — A Nebraska woman has been charged with helping her teenage daughter end her pregnancy at about 24 weeks after investigators uncovered Facebook messages in which the two discussed using medication to induce an abortion and plans to burn the fetus afterward.

The prosecutor handling the case said it’s the first time he has charged anyone for illegally performing an abortion after 20 weeks, a restriction that was passed in 2010. Before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, states weren’t allowed to enforce abortion bans until the point at which a fetus is considered viable outside the womb, at roughly 24 weeks.


Abortion access under renewed threat in Oklahoma and Missouri

By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN
Sun April 10, 2022

(CNN)While abortion rights advocates could secure several victories in US states in the coming days, they're sounding the alarm about an Oklahoma bill that would ban nearly all abortions that's likely to be signed into law. Here are some of this week's moves in state legislatures and by state leaders you may have missed.

Oklahoma sends near-total ban on abortion to governor
Oklahoma legislators passed a bill on Tuesday that would make performing an abortion illegal in the state, except to save the life of the pregnant woman in a medical emergency.


Standing Between Care and Violence

Abortion-clinic escorts and defenders serve as human shields protecting patients from angry, aggressive protestors. Now, with emboldened extremists and the COVID crisis, they face more danger than ever before.

By Garnet Henderson
Jun 2, 2021

Shelley, an abortion-clinic defender at Clinics for Abortion and Reproductive Excellence (CARE) in Bellevue, Nebraska, had a bad feeling on the morning of September 25, 2020. One of those gut bad feelings. It had been a volatile summer. Warmer months typically bring more anti-abortion-rights protesters to clinics, and the groups had been even larger than usual in 2020, likely due to high unemployment rates. By September, the crowds had begun to thin back down to the clinic’s 12 to 14 “regulars.” That morning, one of the regulars was camped out in his usual spot at the base of the clinic’s driveway.