Facebook Defends Turning Over Messages and User Data in Nebraska Abortion Case, Says ‘Much of the Reporting’ Is ‘Plain Wrong’

The social media company says warrants were delivered before the recent Supreme Court decision and did not reference abortion

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Facebook has defended turning over messages and data in an illegal abortion case in Nebraska, claiming that the reporting around the case is “plain wrong” and that the warrants “did not mention abortion at all.”

“Much of the reporting about Meta’s role in a criminal case against a mother and daughter in Nebraska is plain wrong,” Meta, Facebook’s parent company, said a statement posted Tuesday. “We received valid legal warrants from local law enforcement on June 7, before the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The warrants did not mention abortion at all.”

The company has faced backlash after it turned over messages between a Nebraska mother Jessica Burgess and her daughter, Celeste, which will be used used in an investigation against them and an alleged illegal abortion.

The statement also noted that the court documents “indicate that police were at that time investigating the alleged illegal burning and burial of a stillborn infant,” and added that the warrants were accompanied by nondisclosure orders, which have now been lifted, that prevented the company from sharing information about them.

According to NBC News, Madison County prosecutors are accusing Burgess of giving her daughter, who was 17 at the time, abortion pills and then helped her bury and then rebury the fetus.

After receiving the warrant, Facebook turned over more than “250 MB of data related to Celeste’s Facebook account and more than 50 MB of data about Jessica’s account, such as account information, images, audio and visual recordings, messages and other data,” CNN reports.

The Facebook messages between users believed to be Burgess and her daughter reportedly discussed “what [a user named Jessica] ordered last month” and an instruction to the user named Celeste to take the two pills 24 hours apart.

Once Roe v. Wade was overturned in June, Nebraska defaulted to a law that made abortion illegal 20 weeks after an egg is fertilized. According to the case, Burgess is accused of having a miscarriage after taking two abortion pills when she was about 23 weeks pregnant.