Jessica Burgess, a woman from the US state of Nebraska accused of helping her teenage daughter acquire abortion pills, was sentenced Friday to two years in prison, the New York Times reported.
Burgess and her daughter were charged with working together to end Celeste Burgess’ pregnancy last year.
Jessica Burgess ordered the pills online and gave them to her daughter, who was 17 years old at the time and in the third trimester of her pregnancy, the Times reported, citing prosecutors.
Authorities said the Burgesses later buried the fetal remains.
In April 2022, police began investigating “concerns” that Celeste Burgess had given birth prematurely to a stillborn child, which was allegedly buried.
This July, the daughter was sentenced to 90 days in jail after she pleaded guilty to removing or concealing human skeletal remains.
The same month, Jessica Burgess pleaded guilty to violating Nebraska’s abortion law, furnishing false information to a law enforcement officer and removing or concealing human skeletal remains.
Celeste Burgess, who was released earlier this month, was in the courtroom and wiped tears from her face when her mother was sentenced on Friday, The Norfolk Daily News reported.
According to the newspaper, the judge denied a request by Jessica Burgess’ lawyer to sentence her to probation, saying she had treated the fetal remains “like yesterday’s trash”.
The 42-year-old mother faced five charges — including one under a 2010 law which only allows abortion up to 20 weeks after fertilization.
Police began investigating the Burgesses before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022, but their case and subsequent convictions have fanned fears of how women and anyone helping them could be prosecuted for abortions in the wake of the landmark reversal.
In August, Facebook sparked outrage by complying with the police investigation, boosting concerns that the platform will be a tool for clamping down on anyone involved in abortion procedures.