Christian blogger’s pregnancy exposed as hoax
The Chicago woman who became a poster-girl for anti-abortion activists says sorry after leading on her fans
A Chicago blogger who became the heroine of conservative Christians and right-to-life advocates after she wrote about her pregnancy with a child diagnosed with a terminal disease has been exposed as a fantasist. Up to one million people had followed the story of Beccah Beushausen, a 26-year-old social worker and "mother-to-be", who claimed to have chosen to carry baby April-Rose to term rather than have an abortion because of her deep Christian faith.
Well-written and often heart-wrenching, the blog also featured Biblical quotes and Christian pop songs. The posts moved readers across the United States to send pairs of booties, baby blankets and even money to the blogger, who called herself 'B' or 'April's mom'. Advertisers were also queuing up to court Beushausen, lauded as a cyber poster girl by anti-abortion activists.
On June 7 a friend, 'Rachael' posted a blog to say 'B' was in labour. "April is here! Praise Jesus!" Rachael later announced. Then she informed the blog audience that the baby girl had died hours after delivery, just as her mother had feared.
Beushausen could have ended her fantasy there. Instead she chose to post a photo of herself holding her dead infant,wrapped in blankets. But a reader from upstate New York, Elizabeth Russell, became suspicious. A dollmaker, she examined the photo and spotted the Beushausen's ruse: the 'infant' was in fact a plastic doll.
Russell began a counter-blog to expose the hoax. For her trouble she received hate mail from anti-abortionists, until Beushausen admitted to the hoax when she was tracked down by the Chicago Tribune.
Beushausen has now returned the gifts she received and issued an apology. "I lied and I am not trying to hide that, nor am I trying to minimise it,” she said. "I am sorrier than you could know."
She said she started the blog to deal with the loss of a baby boy shortly after his birth in 2005 and her "unresolved pain". But when her first post got 50 comments, the attention quickly became addictive. "Soon I was getting 100,000 hits a week, and it just got out of hand," she told the Tribune. "I didn't know how to stop... One lie led to another." ·
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