Beccah Beushausen, an unmarried mother’s story about giving birth to a child diagnosed as terminally ill in the womb hit a major nerve on the Internet.
Every night for the last two months, thousands of abortion opponents across the nation logged on to a blog(screenshot here from June 2nd) run by the suburban Chicago woman who identified herself only as “B” or “April’s Mom.”
Many prayed that God would save her pregnancy. They e-mailed her photos of their children dressed in pink, bought campaign T-shirts, shared tales of personal heartache and redemption, and sent letters and gifts to an Oak Lawn P.O. box in support.
As more and more people were drawn to her compelling tale, eager advertisers were lining up. And established parenting Web sites that oppose abortion were promoting her blog — which included biblical quotes, anti-abortion messages and a soundtrack of inspirational Christian pop songs.
By Sunday night, when “April’s Mom” claimed to have given birth to her “miracle baby” — blogging that April Rose had survived a home birth only to die hours later — her Web site had nearly a million hits.
There was only one problem with the unfolding tragedy: None of it was real.
There was no pregnancy and the photos posted of April Rose were all fabricated.
In fact, the ‘baby’ was actually a lifelike doll, which immediately raised the suspicion of loyal blog-followers.
After it was revealed her story was a hoax “April’s Mom” on Monday raced to delete her Web site and Twitter and Facebook accounts.
When reached by the Chicago Tribune on Wednesday, Beccah admitted the hoax.
“I know what I did was wrong,” she said. “I’ve been getting hate mail. I’m sorry because people were so emotionally involved.”
She says she started the blog in March to help deal with the loss of a baby in 2005 and to express her strong anti-abortion views.
While she only expected a handful of friends to read it, she was hooked after the first post got 50 comments.
“I’ve always liked writing. It was addictive to find out I had a voice that people wanted to hear,” Beushausen said.
“Soon I was getting 100,000 hits a week, and it just got out of hand,” she said. “I didn’t know how to stop. … One lie led to another.”
Even though there’s no evidence that Beccah significantly benefited financially, her story preyed on readers emotions following their own losses.
The sad part is that she contacted other mom blogs and asked them to help promote her site. This woman was more calculating that she would like herself portrayed.