Mother of teen at center of Nebraska illegal abortion case sentenced

Jessica Burgess, the mother of a teen at the center of an illegal abortion case in Nebraska, was sentenced to prison Friday.
Published: Sep. 22, 2023 at 11:56 AM CDT
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MADISON COUNTY, Neb. (WOWT) - The mother of a teen at the center of an illegal abortion case in northeast Nebraska has been sentenced to prison.

Jessica Burgess was sentenced Friday to two years in prison in Madison County District Court for removing/concealing a dead human body, false reporting, and performing an abortion past 20 weeks’ gestation.

Burgess had been ordered by Judge Mark A. Johnson at her attorney’s request to receive a psychological evaluation before her sentencing; that was rescinded because of a “lack of funding,” according to court documents.

Celeste Burgess was sentenced in July to 90 days in jail, followed by two years of probation, after pleading guilty to one count of removing a dead human body in May.

Celeste, 17 at the time, was initially charged after authorities said she took pills to abort her 29-week-old fetus. Nebraska law at the time allowed for abortion up to 20 weeks; the current law allows for up to 12 weeks. Authorities also said she had set the fetus on fire and disposed of its body in a Madison County field.

Correction: A previous version of this story indicated a previous Nebraska law as current. 6 News regrets the error.