Liberal media, influencers spread hoax that teenager was sentenced to jail for having an abortion—she got 90 days for burning and burying her aborted child
A teen girl was sentenced in Nebraska on Friday to 90 days in prison after being convicted on charges of burning, burying and concealing the dead body of her baby. She had tried to abort the baby into her third trimester, and injested drugs to trigger pregnancy termination.
The sad case, however, was not framed as one in which a would-be teen mom is facing jail time for crimes committed as regards human remains, but used by leftists and media outlets to advocate in favor of abortion past 12 weeks, which is the abortion in Nebraska.
Celeste Burgess, who was 17 when she committed the crime, had sought to abort the baby at 6.5 months using pills her mother ordered online. The two then conspired to hide the evidence.
Mother Jessica Burgess pleaded guilty to violating Nebraska’s anti-abortion law, which prohibits aiding in the obtaining of an abortion past 12 weeks gestation, as well as of illegally concealing human remains.
Influencers and journalists all jumped on the case to say that Nebraska was prosecuting a woman for having terminated her pregnancy. They used the case to advocate for abortion, which in the Burgess case, would have required abortion to be legal in third trimester.
“Wow. A teenager in Nebraska was just sentenced to 90 days in jail for using the abortion pill. This is the America Republicans want,” Political influencer Harry Sisson wrote, “Republicans will not let women control their own bodies. According to them, teenagers are old enough to be mothers. It’s horrifying.”
A community note cited The Guardian’s article on the inident, saying “The teen was not sentenced for having a chemically induced abortion during her third trimester, but for burning, burying, and concealing a dead body.”
The New York Times framed the story along those lines, saying that a “Nebraska teen who used pills to end pregnancy gets 90 days in jail.”
“They swore up and down they wouldn’t send girls and women to prison for having abortions. They lied,” David Frum said. A fact-check tagged onto his tweet cited the Times, quoting “Prosecutors did not charge Celeste Burgess under Nebraska’s abortion law. She pleaded guilty to removing or concealing human skeletal remains, a felony. Prosecutors agreed to drop two misdemeanor charges: concealing a death and false reporting.”
“Will the policing and punishment of women be an important issue in 2024? It sure seemed important to the outcome in 2022 – and that was while the new surveillance regime was still mostly hypothetical. Now it’s becoming real,” he continued.
Podcaster Brian Tyler Cohen said outright that “A Nebraska teenager has been sentenced to jail and charged as a felon after ending her pregnancy with abortion pills. She faces up to five years in prison.”