Meta provides private chat of 17-year-old girl who performed illegal abortion to police without consent, and the person and mother are prosecuted

In June 2022, the

Roe vs. Wade ruling that the ``law regulating female artificial abortion'' was unconstitutional was overturned in the United States, and it became possible to enact a ``state law prohibiting abortion''. I'm in . Meanwhile, in connection with an illegal abortion incident by a 17-year-old girl and her mother in Nebraska, USA, it was reported that Meta, which operates Facebook, provided private chat to the police without the consent of the person.

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In April 2022, Nebraska resident Celeste Burgess, who was 17 at the time, conspired with her mother, Jessica Burgess, to abort her fetus who was 28 weeks pregnant. I bought an abortion pill called 'Pregnot'. In general, Pregnot is used for abortion in early pregnancy, but Burgess and his parents obtained it through an unofficial route that does not pass through doctors. Celeste took the obtained Pregnot and stillborn the fetus, and the parent and child burned the fetus with a 22-year-old man named Tanner Barnhill to destroy the evidence and buried it in the countryside of Norfolk , Nebraska.

While Nebraska law does not prohibit abortion per se, it limits abortion to the 20th week of pregnancy and after that, only if there is a 'risk of irreversible impairment of significant bodily functions.' Abortion is approved by a doctor. As a result, Celeste, who was already 28 weeks pregnant, was unable to receive an abortion by a doctor and is believed to have chosen an illegal abortion by taking medication herself. In addition, this law existed before the Roe vs. Wade judgment was overturned, and it does not mean that abortion after the 20th week has recently been made illegal.

After that, one of Celeste's family members brought information to the Norfolk Police Department that ``Celeste gave birth prematurely, which is believed to be stillborn,'' and an investigation began. Police found the buried fetus and confirmed that there was no air in the lungs. This is evidence suggesting that there is a high possibility that the fetus was born dead, but there is also the possibility that the child was suffocated to death by covering it with a plastic bag immediately after giving birth, and the police said, ``Was it a stillbirth? Did you kill her after giving birth?' It seems that there was a need to investigate.

Detective Ben McBride of the Norfolk Police Department, who investigated, thought that ``I decided the abortion date with Facebook's messenger app'' through Celeste's interrogation, and requested data from Facebook's owner Meta. Upon request, Meta provided all private messages, photos, IP logs, etc. that the Burgess parents exchanged on Facebook's service. These data suggest that Celeste took abortion pills and still gave birth to a fetus, which led to the seizure of laptops and smartphones in subsequent house searches.

'I know from my training, experience, and conversations with other veteran investigators that people involved in crime frequently talk about crime on various social networking sites,' McBride told the court. Burgess said he wanted to get this 'thing' out of his body as soon as possible, and then reconfirmed with Jessica Burgess that he would burn the evidence.'

As a result of the investigation, the mother, Jessica, was found guilty of three felonies, including ``attempting an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy,'' ``performing an unlicensed abortion,'' and ``housing and abandoning a corpse.'' He was indicted in July on two counts. Her daughter, Celeste, is also being tried as an adult and charged with three crimes related to concealment/disposal and illegal burial, as well as Barnhill for helping hide the corpse. The judge said, 'The evidence in this case indicates that the infant, born or stillborn, was transported by the defendant or some other collaborator, and the body was placed in a non-regular burial place without the issuance of a death certificate or certificate of cause of death.' It is recognized that he is buried in

The Burgess' 'abortion and illegal burial by a non-medical person at 28 weeks' gestation' was illegal in Nebraska even before the Roe vs. Wade decision was overturned. However, it has been pointed out that Meta's provision of various data to the police without the consent of Burgess and his parents is a case that causes great concern in the United States, where the anti-abortion law can be enacted.

Jake Laperruque, deputy director of the Center for Democracy and Technology , a think tank that promotes digital rights, said that as more states prosecute abortion-related crimes, they would retain information about users who intended to have an abortion. He argues that warrants are likely to be issued against tech companies. ``If companies don't want to continue handing over data for abortion investigations, they need to rethink their data collection, storage, and encryption practices,'' he said.

A Meta spokesperson said of the data, ``The valid warrant we received from local law enforcement in early June made no mention of abortion. 'According to court documents, police were investigating a case where a stillborn baby was burned and buried.' He also states that the warrant was accompanied by a confidentiality order, so he could not notify the Burgess parents about providing the data.

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