Mom Sentenced to Prison for Giving Her Pregnant Daughter Abortion Pills

Charlie Neibergall

A Nebraska woman gave her 17-year-old daughter abortion pills she had obtained online. But the mother illegally gave her daughter the pills and then burned and buried the fetus in her backyard while lying to investigators about it.


A state judge sentenced the mother, Jessica Burgess, 42, to two years in prison for “tampering with human remains, false reporting and providing an abortion after at least 20 weeks of gestation, which is illegal in Nebraska,” according to the Associated Press.

No matter how you feel about abortion, the action by the mother was reckless and stupid. Transferring a prescription is rightly illegal. And inducing an abortion at more than 20 weeks could have easily led to life-threatening complications. The abortion drugs mifepristone and misoprostol need to be administered in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy (ideally, the first 4 weeks) and should always be taken under a doctor’s supervision.

At the time, abortion pills were legal in Nebraska, so the actions of Burgess were even more reckless. The judge cited the heartless disposal of the fetus as another reason to throw the book at Burgess.

“I shudder to think, Ms. Burgess, that you have such disrespect for a — call it a human fetus, call it a stillborn child — that you would treat it like yesterday’s trash and not give it some respect in its treatment and disposal,” Madison County District Judge Mark Johnson said. “Our society expects more; it demands more.”

Her attorney, Brad Ewalt of Norfolk, sought probation, but the judge balked at that request. He said Burgess demonstrated that she knew she was breaking the state’s abortion law by initially lying to investigators about it and by going to “extraordinary means” to obtain the pills online instead of through a Nebraska medical provider, according to the Norfolk Daily News.


The daughter wasn’t much better. After learning how to take the pills from her mother, she exclaimed in a Facebook message, “I will finally be able to wear jeans.”

Nebraska Democrats sought to portray this case as a harbinger of what would happen if the Republican abortion bill became law. The GOP failed to enact a six-week abortion ban but later made it a 12-week ban. And there was still talk of banning the purchase of mifepristone from out of state.

But the treatment of the fetus was cruel beyond reason.

Related: Culture of Death: AI Chatbot Helps Women Get Abortions

The Burgesses had the assistance of a 22-year-old man, who provided transportation for the mother and daughter.

Norfolk Daily News:

In July 2022, a then 22-year-old man pleaded no contest to attempted concealing a death after he lent support to the Burgesses by providing them with transportation to and from the multiple burial sites. He was sentenced to 9 months of probation.

The man told police that the remains were buried twice at the property north of Norfolk and once near a cemetery in Stanton County.

He said that, after the second burial, the Burgesses made the decision to burn the body and obtained the necessary supplies to do so. The burning was not as successful as they wanted, so they decided that the body again needed to be buried.

Madison County Attorney Joe Smith has said that the Burgesses purchased apple-flavored barbecue briquettes so that the odor of the burning remains would not be as unpleasant.


“This defendant is not a doctor. As far as we know she has no medical training,” Smith said. “Nebraska has a licensing act that states doctors, nurses, barbers and tattoo people ought to meet standards … and that is for the public’s safety.”

As much as Democrats wanted to make this case about abortion, they failed. This was a case of several laws being broken and the violation of community decency standards.


Trending on PJ Media Videos

Join the conversation as a VIP Member