The Left's Astounding, Utterly False Narrative About a Nebraska Mother Who Aborted Her 30-Week Baby

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Celeste Burgess’ baby was well into the third trimester. At that stage, the baby is in a rhythm ready for life in the world. The heart is beating, the baby is waking and sleeping, opening her eyes and mouth, and sucking her thumbs. The organs are formed. At 30 weeks, the baby is, by any standard, completely viable.


But after 30 weeks, Celeste Burgess (now 19) and her mother Jessica decided that they didn’t want the baby. Forty-one-year-old Jessica Burgess ordered and purchase abortion pills online and gave them to her daughter. That type of medication is only approved by the FDA for up to 10 weeks. According to court records, the baby Celeste was carrying was in its 30th week. The baby died in the womb and was stillborn in the shower. The dead baby was another problem for the Burgesses. What to do with the body? They formed a plan with a man named Tanner Barnhill, who’s 22 years old. Like mafia hitmen, they decided to burn the body and bury the baby’s corpse in a backyard.

They all got caught because Celeste and her mother bragged about what they were doing. In Facebook messages. Celeste wrote to her mother’s Facebook account:

“Remember we burn the evidence.”

Jessica was charged with multiple felonies, including the illegal abortion. Her daughter was charged with three crimes and pled guilty to one. Jessica will be sentenced in September and faces five years in prison for giving illegal abortion pills to her daughter, providing false statements to police, and illegally disposing of human remains. The New York Times, no ally of pro-life, reported:

The teenager, Celeste Burgess, 19, and her mother, Jessica Burgess, 42, were charged last year after the police obtained their private Facebook messages, which showed them discussing plans to end the pregnancy and “burn the evidence.”

Prosecutors said the mother had ordered abortion pills online and had given them to her daughter in April 2022, when Celeste Burgess was 17 and in the beginning of the third trimester of her pregnancy. The two then buried the fetal remains themselves, the police said.


Barnhill cooperated and pled to a misdemeanor.

Celeste pled guilty to disposing of her baby’s remains and was sentenced to three months in jail. A pretty soft sentence, considering that she and her mother killed the child, then burned and buried the body.

The left’s conflation of this story was nothing short of epic. David Frum is the senior editor of the Atlantic. He “reported” on this story and got none of it right. He said:

That is conflation at best, and a lie at worst. There are six states that allow abortion in the third trimester. Even in Gavin Newsom’s California, the state doesn’t allow a viable child to be aborted because the mother and the grandmother suddenly don’t “want it.” Also, Celeste wasn’t sentenced to “prison.” Prison is for felons sentenced to one year or longer, and she pled guilty to disposal of the corpse, not the abortion. Only her ghoulish mother will go to prison because she pled guilty to felonies. In fact, based on the laws of all 50 states, this trio could have been criminally prosecuted in every state in America for the “home” abortion, use of illegal drugs for that abortion, and disposing of human remains.

Frum got raked online with actual facts, but facts be damned. A sitting member of Congress jumped in to add his own flavor of falsity:


More pouncing on a false narrative.

Social media influencers jumped onto the propaganda bandwagon. They all lied about the facts to support the narrative that women and their “health care providers” will be sent to prison for aborting a “clump of cells.”

What is most distressing is there are hundreds of thousands of people who read Frum and Krassenstein and Lieu—or read some rando social media influencer—and think Celeste and Jessica Burgess are victims. The only victim in this story is the baby they killed, then threw in a box like trash, and burned the remains.

These people should have crawled back into the holes they came from and deleted their false statements, but they didn’t. Because they know loads of people are talking about what “victims” Celeste and her mother are. Leftists aren’t discussing the facts but rather, the made-up propaganda


“Did you hear about the poor teenager who aborted a clump of cells? Yeah, she was sentenced to 90 years in prison.”

As far-fetched as that sounds, someone in America is saying something very similar, and there are plenty of people believing it.



Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on RedState Videos