A Nebraska mother accused of helping to abort her late-term unborn grandchild will face a trial by jury in April.
News Channel Nebraska reports the trial for Jessica Burgess, 41, of Norfolk, was delayed again this week, and now is scheduled for April 10.
Burgess could face up to eight years in prison for allegedly giving abortion pills to her 17-year-old daughter to abort her unborn grandchild. According to police, Burgess also allegedly burned and then buried the baby’s body after the abortion.
The reason for the court delay appears to have been a request by an unnamed entity to intervene in the case. According to the news report, the court recently “received documents from an unrelated party regarding the subject of personhood, which were filed as a complaint for leave to intervene.”
In October, Burgess’s lawyer asked a judge to drop two of the charges against her, claiming the unborn baby was not legally a “person.” Abortions are legal up to 20 weeks in Nebraska.
Allegedly, Burgess obtained abortion pills for her 17-year-old daughter in mid-April and gave her instructions about how to take them. Later, police said she helped to burn and bury the baby’s body.
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In the case of Burgess’s daughter, Celeste, now 18, medical records obtained by police indicate that she was about six months pregnant, past the legal limit, when she allegedly took the abortion pills, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Celeste Burgess also is charged with concealing a dead body, concealing the death of another person and false reporting, according to the report. Both mother and daughter have pleaded not guilty.
Initially, police said Jessica Burgess told police that her daughter had gone into premature labor and gave birth to a stillborn baby. However, police said they later found records of conversations online between the mother and daughter about abortion drugs.
“(Celeste Burgess) talks about how she can’t wait to get the ‘thing’ out of her body and reaffirms with (Jessica Burgess) that they will burn the evidence afterwards,” according to court records of the police investigation.
It is not clear from reports what abortion drugs Jessica Burgess allegedly gave to her daughter, but the most common, mifepristone and misoprostol, are not recommended after 10 weeks of pregnancy – suggesting the woman allegedly put her daughter’s life at risk as well as her unborn grandchild’s.
Nebraska abortion laws exempt pregnant mothers from punishment but allow abortionists and untrained individuals to be prosecuted for killing late-term unborn babies and, especially in the case of individuals without a medical license or training, putting the pregnant mother’s life in danger.
Late-term abortions also are more risky for the mother as well as her unborn baby, and states that allow late-term abortions sometimes require that they be done by a licensed doctor in a hospital because the risks are so high.
Abortion activists claim stories like these prove that the pro-life movement wants to punish mothers for aborting their unborn babies, but the truth is that pro-life laws protect both mothers and babies from abortions.
Recently, pro-life leaders representing 70 organizations published an open letter opposing laws that punish mothers for abortions. The pro-life movement supports laws that prosecute abortionists and those who help them abort unborn babies.
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