Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: Blogging, Ethics, Government, Politics — Rick Moran @ 5:17 am

Courtesy of Hot Air, this is an eyebrow raising story of a blogger who achieved a modicum of success after blogging about her terminally ill unborn child. She carried the baby to term only to see the child die a few hours after delivering at home.

It’s a heart tugging story that captivated a good slice of the Right to Life Movement as well as others who got caught up in the drama. At it’s peak, “April’s Mom” writing at the blog “Sharing the story of Today” was getting 100,00 visitors a week.

The eyebrow raising part of this story is that it was a hoax:

The woman behind the hoax isn’t “April’s Mom” — a single expectant mother who lay awake at night terrified her unborn child would die at any time, according to the Chicago Tribune.

She is actually Beccah Beushausen, a 26-year-old social worker from the Chicago suburb of Mokenka who says she didn’t know how to free herself from the web of lies she wove.

“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.”

The blog reached its peak at nearly a million hits when Beushausen wrote that baby April Rose was born alive at home — and then died mere hours later, the paper reported.

Anti-abortion supporters were captivated by her story, logging on each night to read about her plight and saying they were praying for her.

Some followers even sent gifts and photographs to the post office box she listed online. Parenting Web sites that oppose abortion promoted her site.


“I know what I did was wrong,” Beushausen told the Tribune. “I’ve been getting hate mail. I’m sorry because people were so emotionally involved.”

There’s no evidence that Beushausen profited financially from the hoax or committed a crime.

(Note to Fox fact checkers: The suburb is “Mokena, IL.”)

The hoax was discovered when Beushausen posted a picture of her “baby” which was immediately recognized by a dollmaker who had the exact same doll in her collection.

And the idea that she did not “profit financially” from her hoax is absurd. Her site is covered with ads. The advertisers who took out those ads were paying based on traffic - traffic generated by a hoax. And if they were paying by the number of clickthroughs, that amount of money would also have been influenced by the deception.

I am not a lawyer but receiving money under false pretenses should be against the law if it isn’t already. Do we still prosecute snake oil salesmen?

It is unfortunate that the victims of this hoax - the pro-life community who sought validation for their cherished beliefs - should have been played in such a shameful way. The fact is, there are stories that, while not quite as dramatic as Beushausen’s lie, nevertheless serve as an example of people whose moral commitment to the unborn is so profound that they knowingly carry babies to term who suffer from disease or malformation that will make raising them an enormous challenge.

As a pro-choice conservative, I can admire that kind of personal commitment to a moral code. And even though I have a less than expansive view of Sarah Palin’s talents as a politician, I admire her choice to knowingly bring a Down Syndrome child into the world. I was shocked by the reaction by some on the left - especially some feminists - to the Palin family’s choice. Evidently, there are “choices,” and there are leftist choices. But calling yourself “pro-choice” and living up to that credo was apparently too difficult for some who mercilessly criticized Palin for not aborting her baby once it was clear the child would be born with Down Syndrome.

Whither then Ms. Beushausen? The Chicago Tribune gives us some clues about her motivation:

Beushausen said she really did lose a son shortly after birth in 2005. She started her blog in March to help deal with that loss and to express her strong anti-abortion views, she said.

She had expected only a handful of friends to read it, but when her first post got 50 comments, she was hooked.

“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.”

A good friend from college was unknowingly drawn into the drama and offered this:

“When I heard that she was pregnant, I called her and said if she needed anything, I was there for her,” said Myers, who lives in Nashville. She said she spoke to Beushausen almost every day for the last few weeks.

Myers sold T-shirts online to benefit Beushausen and PASS, a Tinley Park crisis pregnancy clinic that Beushausen asked the couple to donate to. The couple said they also sent her a few hundred dollars.

Even after learning of the hoax, Myers said she and her husband don’t regret their involvement.

“She’s someone who needed love and attention, and we gave her that,” Myers said.

Her father confirmed that the stress of hiding the hoax got to her and she spent a couple of days in a local hospital. No mention is made of what she was being treated for but an educated guess would be she was on a suicide watch. Her dad adds, “She’s a very talented young lady who hit some hot buttons,” he said. “She knows she made a big mistake.”

I reject the notion there is any political lesson to be learned from this incident. There will be those who will seek to denigrate the pro life movement because one of their own was temporarily successful in playing to their most heartfelt beliefs. Can’t imagine what angle they would use but I’m sure they will come up with something appropriately inane. And I don’t believe that pro-lifers need be defensive about anything. Blogs have built-in credibility now, and while there have been some of these hoaxes exposed over the years, blog audiences are a trusting lot - as well they should be.

But blog audiences have also become much more discriminating over the years when it comes to “original reporting” by websites. Much less is taken for granted today than 4 or 5 years ago. This is a result, no doubt, of several cases where bogus information was passed along as truth. Having been burned, most blog readers are much more discerning in what they believe and what it takes to convince them.

But Beushausen was writing on a small mommy blog and relating her supposedly personal story. None of the skepticism that would attend a political or celebrity story was present. The idea that someone would lie about something as serious as a terminally ill baby just never entered into most people’s minds. Anyone who would do such a thing would be (and I love this word) a female cad.

And that’s what Beushausen is. She is a bounder, a blackguard, a heel. Shamelessly playing with the emotions of her readers, - for profit or not - she has damaged the credibility of all bloggers by her actions.

The quicker we forget about Beushausen, the better. Let her slide back into a well deserved anonymity while taking note that perhaps, we won’t be quite so easy to fool next time.


It appears this woman is really something of a fabulist - a pathological liar of sorts.

Via Blue Crab Boulevard, it appears that Beushausen, identified in the story as a “social worker,” is no such thing:

In response to a June 12 article in the Chicago Tribune and a related Associated Press story about “April’s Mom”, http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-baby-hoax-12jun12,0,5601624.story, the National Association of Social Workers has confirmed that the troubled young woman who created a huge online following with a fictitious account of her pregnancy IS NOT A SOCIAL WORKER. According to sources at the NASW Illinois Chapter, Beccah Beushausen is not licensed in the State of Illinois as a social worker and is not a member of the National Association of Social Workers.

Maybe “she” is actually a “he” or perhaps that rigmarole about losing a baby is also a fib. I think it wise at this point to assume everything that has been written about this person is a lie on her part until we find someone who has the straight dope.


  1. “I didn’t know how to stop”

    I’m no blogger, but just off the top of my head . . . stop posting updates to the story?
    Just throwing out ideas here.

    Comment by busboy33 — 6/13/2009 @ 5:42 am

  2. The ends never justify the means.

    This line: “Shamelessly playing with the emotions of her readers…” applies not only to this case but to dozens of journalists and politicians as well.

    Comment by Northwestdoug — 6/13/2009 @ 7:09 am

  3. I’m not aware of any liberal commentators who criticized Palin’s choice to carry her pregnancy to term. There was a small amount of ugly rumor that her pregnancy was a hoax to cover for her daughter, but that quickly died out. There was, and still is, richly deserved criticism for her desire to impose by force on all other women the choice she had the luxury of freely making for herself, but nobody I am aware of said she shouldn’t have had the right to make that choice, or was wrong in making the choice she did.

    Comment by Kevin T. Keith — 6/13/2009 @ 11:20 am

  4. Nobody ever lied about having an abortion to seem holier-than-thou, and nobody ever bombed an anti-abortion ultrasound/counseling clinic. But plenty of “pro-life” conservatives end up sneaking their daughters or themselves into Planned Parenthood when the time comes.

    Meanwhile, we’re just two assassinations away from ensuring that anyone whose baby, say, ends up with its umbilical cord wrapped around its neck and dies in utero in the seventh month is forced to walk around with a dead, limp baby bouncing around her womb; anyone whose baby develops with organs outside its body is forced to deliver a doomed child and watch it die.

    What a great country.

    Comment by scarshapedstar — 6/13/2009 @ 11:47 am

  5. “some who mercilessly criticized Palin for not aborting her baby once it was clear the child would be born with Down Syndrome”

    Who, exactly? Do you mind linking to these folks? I assume we’re not talking about just message board trolls here, right? But actual bloggers/commentators/etc. representing a fairly mainstream left-of-center viewpoint?

    30 secs of googling:


    And why not commenters? Are they left wing or not? Doesn’t seem to matter to the left how prominent someone is when they say that the right promotes “hate speech:”


    Lots more where those came from.

    Tell you what. You find a feminist (outside of Paglia) who came out in public and supported her choice to have the child. Now that would surprise me.


    Comment by bonk — 6/13/2009 @ 12:22 pm

  6. “There will be those who will seek to denigrate the pro life movement… I’m sure they will come up with something…”

    Pointing out the sins of others before they occur? Real nice, Rick. We’ll call that “pre-emptive accusery.”

    Not at all. I know the left. This one is particularly inventive:



    Comment by ignatov — 6/13/2009 @ 2:16 pm

  7. Nothing says “left-of-center” like a site named “The Center for the Advancement of Capitalism” that endorses a book named “The Myth of the Robber Barons” and just wrote their 61st “Objectivist roundup”.

    Heh-indeedy. If that’s the best you can do then you, sir, fail.

    Comment by scarshapedstar — 6/13/2009 @ 2:16 pm

  8. “”http://ruleofreason.blogspot.com/2008/09/palins-down-syndrome-child-and-right-to.htm”"

    That’s a libertarian Randian, as you should be able to tell, not a liberal.


    And that’s a lunatic quoting an anonymous commentator.

    So, where are those mainstraem (or even extreme) leftists who were saying that Palin did something wrong by not having an abortion?

    Comment by Drongo — 6/13/2009 @ 2:20 pm

  9. Oh, and feminists who were pro-any-choice;



    The predominant theme in feminist blogs seems to be “What you choose is up to you, but what I choose should be up to me”.

    Comment by Drongo — 6/13/2009 @ 2:27 pm

  10. Rick, the fact that you can find somebody who said something doesn’t make it reflective of “The Left”. This is the internet — you can find somebody to say anything. Usually with plenty of grammar errors too. Pointing to a blogger as the face of the Left is as silly as saying Randall Terry speaks for The Right — more silly when you consider how many people identify with Operation Rescue as compared to identify with a blogger.

    Comment by busboy33 — 6/14/2009 @ 2:21 am

  11. If snake oil salesmen were arrested, wouldn’t Al Gore be in jail?

    Comment by shorty — 6/14/2009 @ 10:14 am

  12. “There will be those who will seek to denigrate the pro life movement because one of their own was temporarily successful in playing to their most heartfelt beliefs. Can’t imagine what angle they would use but I’m sure they will come up with something appropriately inane. And I don’t believe that pro-lifers need be defensive about anything.”

    Well, heck I’ll be one of “those” if you don’t mind. I’ll denigrate them for their supposedly moral stance that leads to murders, lies, violence, destruction, and hatred. I’ll denigrate them for being the historic hypocrites that they are by calling themselves pro-life while supporting gun violence and war overwhelmingly. I’ll denigrate them for caring waaaaaaaaay more about miniscule masses of cells than about the humans walking next to them. I’ll denigrate them for not understanding why a hurtful and complex hoax like this makes them all look like Octomom-ish lying fundamentalist psychos.

    And really, the pro-lifers shouldn’t be defensive about anything? Just keep telling yourself that, oh conscience free one.

    Comment by humkev — 6/15/2009 @ 4:10 pm

  13. thanks for the link, ed.! but i believe you meant the “pre-life” movement.

    Comment by skippy — 6/16/2009 @ 6:45 pm

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