A 26-year-old woman who wants to remain anonymous has shared online that she is seven-weeks-pregnant and plans to have an abortion on July 10th. However, if pro-lifers can raise one million dollars in 72-hours she says she will not have the abortion and place the baby for adoption.
She selected 72-hours intentionally because she wanted to draw attention to the laws that recently passed requiring women to wait 72-hours prior to an abortion.
But is the abortion ransom just a ploy to draw attention to the pro-abortion side of the abortion debate? The tone of the woman’s missive suggests she’s an abortion activist rather than a pregnant woman who’s truly struggling with an unplanned pregnancy as it employs some of the verbal rhetoric typically coming from pro-abortion groups like NARAL and Planned Parenthood.
Further investigation makes it appear the web site itself is nothing more than a hoax.
The allegedly pregnant-woman’s web site is registered to a man named Michael Weber who supposedly resides in Japan and the domain’s email contact for the domain is registered to the same Japanese-based man under an address in Tokyo. Here is what a WHOIS search shows.
Weber is behind a number of controversial web sites including birthcontrolpillnews.com. As the owner of the domain, Weber appears to be a web site squatter who purchases a large number of international web sites and drives traffic to them in order to sell them at a higher cost than the original purchase. He owns web sites ranging from zoomtv.me to cardshare.cc and Freesexypornvideos.com.
If the web site is a ruse, it would be the second web site to draw national attention over an alleged crowd-sourced decision-making process related to abortion. LifeNews profiled the BirthOrNot web site that caused an international controversy over a vote on an abortion in 2010. Pete and Alisha Arnold of Minnesota put up the web site under the claim that they were conflicted over a decision about whether to have an abortion and take the life of their 17-week-old unborn child or give birth to the baby.
In an interview, Pete Arnold eventually admitted the web site and the abortion vote itself was not legitimate and said his wife supports legalized abortion. He admitted the couple put the web site online knowing they never intended to seek an abortion. Arnold also admitted what activists from both sides of the abortion debate revealed — that he purchased the BirthOrNot.com web domain well before Alisha became pregnant.
Some pro-life advocates are also suggesting the web site and the fundraising scheme are not aboveboard. Lila Rose, a national pro-life activist, suggests that the woman’s pitch could be a fundraising ploy or a political stunt.
“She’s doing it to make a political point, which makes the whole story heartbreaking and makes people upset on both sides of the abortion debate,” Lila Rose, president of Live Action, a new media nonprofit dedicated to ending abortion and building a culture of life, told FoxNews.com.
Rose added that the message of pro-life advocates is that they’re available to help expectant mothers with confidential, pro-bono resources, including adoption services.
“We don’t know the authenticity of this story; that’s one of the reasons why people on both sides are upset. It comes across as a stunt,” Rose said. “If there is a life here at stake, the message to this woman is to give the child a chance. There are better options than abortion for both you and your baby.”
If the young woman in question is indeed lying in her demand for money, one attorney suggests should be be charged with wire fraud.
As a legal matter, the woman is within her rights to either have an abortion or not, and within her rights to go online to raise funds, as long as she’s being truthful, John H. Snyder, a lawyer and legal strategist in New York City, told FoxNews.com.
“If she’s lying about it, it’s wire fraud. She can go to jail for it,” he said.
Any funds raised over $14,000 would be taxable as income tax, Snyder added.
The web site claims it will begin taking donations on July 7. It will be interesting to see if domain owner Michael Weber follows through with that or takes the web site down now that he’s gotten significant media attention and traffic from what appears to be a well-designed hoax. Taking donations under the current pretense would appear to be illegal in the United States, but he may be able to get away with accepting some donations since the domain is technically registered to someone living in Japan.