Mt. Vernon Register-News

State News

June 15, 2009

Blogger who lied about sick baby apologizes

CHICAGO (AP) — A suburban Chicago woman has apologized for an Internet hoax in which she claimed to be pregnant with a terminally ill child, saying the story that attracted nearly a million hits to her Web site stemmed from “unresolved pain” she couldn’t handle alone.

Rebeccah Beushausen, 26, of Mokena, wove a tale for about two months about being an unmarried mother who chose to carry her child to term rather than have an abortion because of her deep Christian faith. One of the blog’s followers exposed the lie last week.

Beushausen posted a lengthy apology on her blog Sunday, saying she had lost pregnancies in the past.

“I have suffered this type of loss, more than once, to varying degrees, and while the circumstances and the times vary ... the pain is very constant,” Beushausen wrote.

She had said her baby was diagnosed with Trisomy 13 syndrome, a chromosomal defect that can cause severe mental retardation and death. Followers promised to pray for her and her baby, April Rose, and sent letters and gifts to a post office box she listed online.

But when she wrote about the child’s birth and posted photos last week, one reader recognized the baby as a lifelike doll.

Jennifer McKinney, of Mound, Minn., followed Beushausen’s blog and helped promote it. She said the apology did not include enough information to explain why Beushausen lied.

“To be honest, I think she is far from recognizing the true gravity of the situation,” said McKinney, who writes a Christian blog that dealt with her own difficult pregnancy.

Beushaushen’s sister, Anna, said Monday that the falsehood began before the blog and that her sister has dealt with a lot of pain in her life. She said the blog, which she didn’t learn about until last week, was a way for her sister to work through it.

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