Facebook defends itself after passing chat messages to US police investigating abortion case | Science & Technology News

Facebook has defended itself after court documents emerged showing it provided chat messages to police that are being used to prosecute the mother and daughter on abortion charges.

The messages were part of a case in Nebraska alleging that the couple performed an abortion at 28 weeks without a permit and then attempted to conceal a dead human body.

The abortion is said to have taken place before The US Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wadegave American women the constitutional right to terminate their pregnancies.

However, it has caused controversy amid concerns about how future reproductive rights will be controlled, including the search for information from social media accounts.

Since deciding to return Roe vs Wade The ability of an estimated 58 million girls and women across the United States to have access to safe and legal abortion has been called into question.

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Facebookits parent company released a statement claiming that “the majority of reports on MetaThe role of “in the criminal case against mother and daughter in Nebraska was completely misguided”.

What do the court documents say – and what did Meta do?

According to Madison County prosecutors in Nebraska, Jessica Burgess, 41, took the abortion pill and then gave it to her daughter, 17-year-old Celeste, and helped her burn and bury the fetus with the help of a 20-year-old man, Tanner Barnhill, who is also facing misdemeanor charges.

Celeste Burgess was 28 weeks pregnant when she took the pill, which is considered the start of the third trimester. Nebraska limits abortion to 20 weeks in most cases where the mother’s health is not in danger.

The drug that Jessica Burgess received was designed to terminate a medical pregnancy in the first trimester, up to week 12.

Police say they were made aware of the case by a close friend of Celeste, who saw her take the first pill.

Officers have applied for a search warrant to Meta regarding all personal data on Burgesses, and direct messages contained in court documents appear to indicate the mother and daughter are in discussions about Take medicines.

They said that after exhuming the fetus, the autopsy results were consistent with a stillbirth, but because it was placed in a plastic bag they could not rule out the possibility that it had suffocated – part of her life. investigate.

The women who pleaded not guilty will face a jury trial in October.

Read more:
Roe v Wade: How did we get here?
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In its full statement, Meta said: “We received a valid legal subpoena from local law enforcement on June 7, prior to the Supreme Court decision.[.] The subpoenas make no mention of abortion. “

The statement added: “Court documents indicate that police at the time were investigating the illegal burning and burial of an infant.

“The subpoenas came with a nondisclosure order, which prevented us from sharing information about them. The order has now been lifted.”

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