Nebraska mother sentenced in abortion case

“A Nebraska mother who helped her teenage daughter obtain abortion pills to end her pregnancy [at 29 weeks] and later disposed of the fetus’ remains was sentenced to two years in prison on Friday”

(Quoted from a Forbes article.)

This situation has apparently been in the news for over a year now, but I hadn’t heard of it until yesterday.

There are many many different takes on this situation, and it has a lot of nuances that have been obscured by some headlines. And each article I’ve seen has used different phrasing for what exactly the three charges were that Burgess pleaded guilty to.

But there are two specific aspects of the situation that I want to note:

  • The prosecutor and some news articles consistently referred to the 29(ish)-week fetus as a “baby.” If a court or a reader accepts that framing uncritically, then a lot of other ideas flow naturally from it.
  • Meta/Facebook handed over messages between the mother and the daughter to police. So don’t plan abortions (or anything else that you don’t want police to know about) using Meta’s Messenger. (The same general principle applies to most other unencrypted communication systems, but I don’t know for sure that other companies would hand over users’ data regarding planning an abortion.)

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