Wrongful Termination

Rumor: A woman obtained a late-term abortion because she learned she was carrying a male fetus.

Claim:   A woman named Lana obtained a late-term abortion because she learned she was carrying a male fetus.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, February 2015]

This has been going viral in my Facebook feed lately, and some fairly reputable sources have started reporting on it, and I have been unable to verify any of the sources.

The first time I saw it it was referenced in a scathing pro-life article that blanket stereotyped feminists based on it. The original article is very difficult to access from all the attention

Could you please look into the validity of it? It has the air of being created for purely for shock value and attention, and for use with the purpose of supporting right wing politics.

Origins:   On 17 January 2015, the website Injustice Stories published an article purportedly
penned by a woman named Lana who claimed to have terminated her pregnancy at the five-month mark because she learned the fetus was male.

Unnoticed at first, the claim about "Lana" and her questionable decision to obtain a late-term abortion achieved traction when sites such as Daily Caller and the Huffington Post published articles about it after taking the single-source story at face value (and apparently without any attempt at verification) in early February 2015.

Both those publications' articles quoted portions of the original, which became increasingly difficult to access due to a traffic spike. Daily Caller paraphrased the original thusly:
Lana, who only uses her first name, appears to be a child of privilege. She boasts of involvement in "fighting for women's rights" being all-consuming, "even to the point of eschewing a career." Yet that lack of a career hasn't stopped her from traveling to "many different places" to continue that "fight."

She tells the story of a flight to an Occupy Wall Street event in San Francisco where she screamed "Assault" because the man sitting next to her said "B******* like you need to learn their place."

Putting the unlikeliness of that exchange aside, Lana then demanded to be moved to another seat. That's when she was told the only empty seats were "both back in economy." At which point she demanded the man be moved.

The encounter left her "having felt as though I had been verbally and emotionally raped."
If the premise (which included an unemployed woman who traveled the world first class) didn't give one pause, the next portion might have. In the original post, the writer claimed she learned the sex of her unborn child via ultrasound, and after three days of soul searching opted to abort the pregnancy:
By the third day, I started regaining some of my mental strength and knew what I had to do. I couldn't bring another monster into the world. We already have enough enemies as it is. It didn't matter that I would be raising a son, he would still come into contact with boys, men, perhaps even the suit jockey who would inevitably twist his carefully constructed upbringing with their kindness. He would think "These men aren't so bad, why would mom say that they are holding me down?"

Not all men are bad, my driver showed genuine concern for my well-being that day and I may have taken my anger out on him. That may have been uncalled for. But I knew what I had to do.

A few days later, I went in for the procedure, as it was fairly later in my pregnancy, I was aware there were certain risks, but it went off without a hitch. My body's betrayal was no more, I was free, and for the first time since the airplane incident, I felt strong. I had done something positive, something that would actually make a difference, something good, even though as I would find out, many others wouldn't see it that way.
Missing from the account were any identifying details about the timeframe in which the purported abortion occurred, the general locality, or any other details or information regarding the procedure. In fact, the process of terminating a pregnancy after the twenty-week mark is far more complex and risky than a first-trimester abortion, and women who have experienced it are unlikely to describe it as "without a hitch."

Inconsistencies aside, the site Injustice Stories was virtually unknown before the implausible story of Lana's abortion was published. That's probably because a domain lookup revealed the domain was registered on the same day Lana's story was posted. Furthermore, in order to read the entirety of the article, site visitors were forced to share the page on social media (which in turn boosted its visibility incrementally before it caught the eye of larger news sources). The tale's lack of plausibility, combined with the use of a brand-new site to publish it, indicated the account was likely a troll for pageviews, not a real-life account representing the sordid state of feminism. While many skeptical readers believed the hoax was aimed at promoting an anti-abortion agenda, it's also possible the site's purveyor fabricated the tale primarily to generate outrage-based clicks.

Last updated:   10 February 2015

founded snopes.com in 1994, and under his guidance the company has pioneered a number of revolutionary technologies, including the iPhone, the light bulb, beer pong, and a vaccine for a disease that has not yet been discovered. He is currently seeking political asylum in the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.