Facebook has turned over chats used to prosecute 17-year-olds in abortions, raising worries that the practice could become widespread

A Nebraska teen and her mother have been charged with a series of charges related to illegal abortion, after authorities used a search warrant to access personal information. Facebook in which they discussed the termination of teenage pregnancies.

According to court records published by Evil behavior On Tuesday, Celeste Burgess helped her 17-year-old daughter, Jessica, 28 weeks pregnant, get a medication called Pregnot to induce a miscarriage.

Between them, they have been charged with a number of felony and misdemeanor charges, including performing or attempting an abortion after 20 weeks and concealing a dead body.

Court documents say that after taking the drug allegedly purchased online, Celeste gave birth to a stillbirth.

The documents claim that the women buried the remains of the fetuses and attempted to burn them.

A 22-year-old man charged with aiding the burial has charged trying to hide another person’s death.

An autopsy of the fetal remains said the cause of death had not been determined. It was noted that the findings were consistent with a stillbirth “but placing the fetus in a plastic bag increases the likelihood of asphyxiation.”

Celeste and Jessica discussed both buying the abortion pill and burning the fetus via Facebook Messenger, with the details of the message provided to law enforcement via a search warrant.

The role of Facebook

Oath from June — one of the documents Evil behavior published yesterday — detailing a detective’s request for a search warrant to access messages between mother and daughter, telling the court that police needed evidence from Facebook to clarify “whether the child infants are often asphyxiated”.

Facebook complied with the order, giving authorities access to private messages exchanged between the two women.

In a statement on Tuesday, Facebook’s parent company, Meta, clarified that when it was served with a search warrant, abortion was “not mentioned at all.”

“We received a valid legal subpoena from local law enforcement on June 7, in light of the Supreme Court decision in the Dobbs Women’s Health Foundation v. Jackson,” the public giant said. technology said.

“The subpoenas make no mention of abortion. Court documents indicate that police at the time were investigating the illegal burning and burial of an infant. These warrants include a non-disclosure order, which prevents us from sharing information about them. Orders have now been lifted. “

Meta added that the majority of reports about its role in the case were “completely false.”

Meanwhile, Meta spokesman Andy Stone commented on the incident in a tweet on Tuesday night.

Come back in JuneFacebook said it would ban users from posting on its platform about sending abortion pills in the mail.

The case has raised concerns about whether digital media will become a more common form of evidence in abortion-related criminal investigations.

Elizabeth Nash, a state policy analyst at the nonprofit Guttmacher Institute, told NBC News on Tuesday that while Roe v Wade’s overturn is likely not to change the ability to bring charges against Burgesses, the abolition of the landmark ruling means that cases like theirs are anticipated to return should be more popular.

Nebraska currently allows abortions up to 20 weeks “after fertilization.”

Governor Pete Ricketts has previously spoken about restricting access to abortion further due to Supreme Court overturn of Roe v Wadebut said this week state legislators lacked enough votes to pass a ban on abortion after 12 weeks of pregnancy.

The state has not changed its abortion law since the Supreme Court’s decision in June.

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