Nebraska

41-year-old woman and a teenager from Norfolk accused of illegal abortion had their pretrial rescheduled for September

MADISON, Nebraska – The preliminary hearing for a teenager from northeast Nebraska who is accused of aiding conceal a fetus after a relative allegedly assisted her in unlawfully terminating a pregnancy will now take place in September instead of the previously scheduled date of August.

An first hearing for the 18-year-old defendant was supposed to take place on Monday morning, but it has been postponed until the 26th of September. The trial before the jury is scheduled to begin in November.

After the elder Burgess helped the younger Burgess terminate her pregnancy with abortion medication, the teenager and her relative, 41-year-old Jessica Burgess, both of Norfolk, are accused of burning and burying the fetus after the younger Burgess assisted in terminating the pregnancy of the teenager. After the first 20 weeks of a pregnancy, it is against the law in Nebraska to conduct an abortion. According to reports, the alleged encounter took place when the younger Burgess was 17 years old.

Another individual, a male who was 21 years old at the time, entered a plea of no contest to the charge of assisting in the burial of the fetus on rural land that was owned by his parents and was given a probationary term.

In an interview earlier this month with the Lincoln Journal Star, the prosecutor for Madison County, Joseph Smith, stated that in his 32 years on the job, he has never brought charges like to this one in connection with the illegal performance of an abortion.

From 2006 to 2020, there were 1,331 arrests or detentions of women for offences linked to their pregnancy, according to the organization National Advocates for Pregnant Women, which is an advocate for the legalization of abortion.

Smith submitted a request on Monday to include a number of pieces of evidence, one of which was a doctor’s testimony that apparently indicated the age of the human remains to be over 29 weeks old. Smith also included photographs of the fetal remains in his application.

According to the documents filed before the court, the two persons are said to have spoken via Facebook messages, which were subsequently obtained by police enforcement, regarding their plans to terminate the pregnancy.

On Friday, Jessica Burgess is expected to appear in court for a pre-trial hearing. The trial, which will be conducted before a jury, is slated to begin in October.

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