$70,000 has been raised in support of a Texas teen mother after the Washington Post ran what has been described as a “hit piece”, detailing Brooke Alexander’s unplanned pregnancy with twins.
The piece detailed the consequences of the Texas Heartbeat Act, described the legislation as “a major inconvenience” for women seeking abortions – such as Brooke – while focusing on the challenges of parenthood and the perceived barriers created by parenthood.
The piece explained how Alexander, 18, was unable to obtain an abortion after the Texas heartbeat law went into effect – a piece of legislation enacted in September 2021 prohibiting abortions after the detection of an unborn child’s heartbeat, which normally occurs after about six weeks of pregnancy.
Alexander found out she was pregnant two days before the law went into effect, and while she initially wanted an abortion, the abortion facility two hours away from her home in Southern Texas was completely booked ahead of the law going into effect. Alexander was subsequently provided with the names and addresses of abortion facilities in New Mexico by the South Texas clinic, a drive of more than 12 hours from her home in Corpus Christi.
Alexander then attended a crisis pregnancy centre close by, on the advice from a family friend that it provided free ultrasounds. At the scan, Alexander discovered she was expecting twins – and that the babies were already 12 weeks along, meaning she was too far gone to have an abortion.
Reflecting on the impact of the law on her decision, the teenager said: “Who’s to say I wouldn’t have done it if the law wasn’t in effect? I don’t want to think about it”.
Despite Alexander’s apparent relief that she ended up choosing life for her daughters as a result of the state’s abortion ban, the author of the article tweeted that Alexander still has a tinge of regret for the “life that she may never get to lead” because of her pregnancy.
While using a photo of Alexander’s twin babies Olivia and Kendall for the image in the headline, many people felt that the journalist who wrote the article, Caroline Kitchener, depicted the pregnancy as something which arguably ruined Alexander’s life, destroying her dreams, and she was accused of manipulating Alexander’s story to push back against pro-life laws.
Kitchener penned: “Sometimes Brooke imagined her life if she hadn’t gotten pregnant, and if Texas hadn’t banned abortion just days after she decided that she wanted one. She would have been in school, rushing from class to her shift at Texas Roadhouse, eyes on a real estate licence that would finally get her out of Corpus Christi.”
The piece said that: “Texas offers a glimpse of what much of the country would face if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade this summer…If the landmark legal precedent falls, roughly half the states in the country are expected to dramatically restrict abortion or ban it altogether, creating vast abortion deserts that will push many into parenthood”.
The @washingtonpost shares pictures of two babies who would have been killed, and says “Texas offers a glimpse of what much of the country would face if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade this summer,” like it’s a bad thing… pic.twitter.com/2II5bLvO7S
— Ian Haworth (@ighaworth) June 20, 2022
On Twitter, sharing the article, Kitchener said that the mother’s feelings about having her twins were “complicated” – claiming that the teenager still harbours a tinge of regret over the life “she may never get to lead” because of their birth.
Pro-life advocate Lila Rose, head of Live Action, blasted the piece, tweeting in response to Kitchener: “She trusted you and you wrote a cruel, condescending piece about her. You objectified her & her beautiful girls for your own pro-abortion ideology. You didn’t help her, instead you did everything you could to make her look ignorant, & her future look as bleak & dark as possible”.
She trusted you and you wrote a cruel, condescending piece about her. You objectified her & her beautiful girls for your own pro-abortion ideology. You didn’t help her, instead you did everything you could to make her look ignorant, & her future look as bleak & dark as possible. https://t.co/FEQenammUA
— Lila Rose (@LilaGraceRose) June 21, 2022
“What you did is shameful and wrong. It’s belittling & profoundly disrespectful to young mothers. You used her and this will forever be on the public record. It’s no surprise coming from a rabidly pro-abortion group like @washingtonpost but it’s still disgusting. @CAKitchener,” Rose added.
However, many argued that the piece unintentionally advocated for the pro-life position. One popular thread on Twitter last week read: “This article from the @washingtonpost presents the most amazing pro-life argument I think I’ve ever seen…and it’s entirely unintentional. It truly is an amazing read”.
🧵 This article from the @washingtonpost presents the most amazing pro-life argument I think I've ever seen…and it's entirely unintentional. 🧵
It truly is an amazing read. Here's a thread of some highlights.https://t.co/s46iQDCl8E
— Ian Haworth (@ighaworth) June 20, 2022
Now, many pro-lifers have contributed to a GoFundMe fundraiser set up by Brooke and the father of her babies, who is now her husband – something which commentators online say has shifted the popular argument used by pro-abortion rights advocates that ‘pro-lifers don’t care about babies once they’re born’. More than $70,000 has now been raised – and Alexander has expressed her gratitude for the outpouring of support, saying the family are “so excited”.
The fundraising entry stated: “My name is Brooke Alexander. I’m from Corpus Christi Texas and I have lived here all my life. The funds are for my family and I. I am 18 years old and I have two 4 month old twins. My husband is also 18 and just left for basic training and I’m worried I won’t be able to provide for us.”
Alexander said the money was for expenses for her daughters – adding that she and her family were struggling to make ends meet. She wrote that she would be using any donations to “buy diapers, wipes, formula, etc. We will also use the funds to help pay for bills such as my car payment, insurance payment, phone bill, etc. We are struggling to get by and any donation helps. Thank you.”
Droves of pro-lifers shared messages along with donations, penning, “Thank you for choosing life”.
Dozens of pro-lifers shared the fundraiser, with several organisations including people to support the new mother. Tom Shakely of Americans United for Life was among those who encouraged pro-lifers to “support this family and their future”.
The Washington Post ran a hit piece on a mother and father and their newborns. Join me, instead, in giving to support this family and their future. https://t.co/NHgLOXvi0M
— Tom Shakely (@TomShakely) June 21, 2022
The Washington Post piece has brought awareness to Alexander’s story as well as her new family, with over a thousand people eager to help the young mother – and hundreds of comments have been posted thanking her for choosing life for her children.
Amid the controversy and discussion triggered by the piece, one person on the GoFundMe page wrote alongside their donation: “You’ve got this Brooke! Don’t listen to the negative chatter online. The next few years will be challenging but you’ve already accomplished more than some people ever will! You can still go to college and all that!”
”I’m so glad that you chose life for your adorable baby girls. the Pro-Life movement is here for you for anything you need!” a separate comment read. A father of four left a note with his donation which read: “Father of four here – every one is a blessing! Congratulations on your beautiful babies. Thankful you chose life and happy to chip in here.”
“I read the WP article written about you today & a pro-life advocate I follow on IG posted your fundraiser on her story! I’m so glad I saw it! I pray you and your family are blessed & know you have a lot of support from many”, another person said.
“Dear Brooke, I read your story in the Washington Post. I empathise with you on so many levels, from being in the position of an unwanted pregnancy at a young age and also being a mom much later in life. I wish you and your family all the best and hope that you can find a little time to take care of yourself and be an 18 year old woman as well as a mother,” another message of support said.
One woman shared: “Brooke, Your story resonated with my husband I. He’s from Aransas and we were 18. It was hard but by God’s grace, we’re here and grateful we chose life. I’ll never forget the fear and overwhelming heaviness over how life changed with the lines on that pregnancy stick. Our now 25 year old has been such an immense blessing despite the scary start. He remembers people being unkind to me when we were out with all of our kids (I looked too young to have 4 kids) and it has made he and his siblings more compassionate people. Adversity can bring good things!”
As a way to thank donors, Alexander posted a video to the GoFundMe appeal showing her two beaming baby daughters on camera, captioning the clip, “We’re so excited! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Everyone”.
Many urged Alexander to lean on the pro-life community and resources provided by crisis pregnancy resource centres going forward: “God bless you and these sweet babies! There is a large and supportive pro life community here to help you along this journey. Those babies are a gift and you are strong and courageous being their mother !”