On February 3 2020, Twitter user @HayleeFarless shared the following purported screenshot of a woman named Jamie Jeffries to a closed Facebook group called, “Are You Even Pro-Life?” with a comment claiming that it was “a real-life post by an anti-abortion activist,” and adding that “you can’t make this shit up”:
This is real. This is a real-life post by an anti-abortion activist. You can’t make this shit up. pic.twitter.com/wDjmU2ZHyh
— Hayley Farless (@hayleyfarless) February 3, 2020
Beneath Farless’ comment was a screenshot showing the following text:
I talked a mom out of abortion in February. Her baby is 6months old now and was just removed from her families custody by DCS (unfortunately it was probably a justified removal)
But this family put ME down as a next preferred placement for this baby. Dude me?!?!? No. No no no no no no no no no! I do way too much for this work already, a 6month old will break me, destroy my marriage and physical health. I just can’t!!
The screenshot went viral on Twitter and other versions of it were shared to Facebook as well.
A separate screenshot shared by the page “Social Justice Sundays” included an edited update, linking to a post by Jamie Jeffries on her page “The Pro-Life Wife.” By Jeffries’ own account, the screenshot was an accurate, undoctored representation of a post she shared to the group mentioned above (“Are You Even Pro-Life?”) at some prior date.
Jeffries’ response to the screenshot’s spread was shared on January 26 2020, indicating that the screenshot was in circulating before it appeared on Twitter on February 3 2020. Jeffries confirmed her comments, saying that she legitimately expressed dismay when confronted with the prospect of providing care for the baby that she had “saved”:
The post being shared was my venting in a supposedly private prolife group, and while yes I do say “no no no” about taking this baby myself the post doesn’t end there.
Jeffries intimated that she didn’t owe anyone an explanation about her position on caring for the at-risk baby, but detailed the factors she cited in her original post. Jeffries stated it would have been “illegal” for her to foster the infant, and reasoned that her refusal was largely due to a legal barrier.
That portion was somewhat confusing, as her original claim was that she had recently moved, had a baby of her own, had two surgeries, and then moved again — “thus” making the fostering “illegal.” In her original “venting” post, Jeffries didn’t seem to suggest thst any legal barrier existed to her caring for the infant, merely that it was a matter of convenience and financial concern:
If people need the reason behind the “no” it’s simple…I had moved across state lines, had an infant, and just had 2 major life altering surgeries within a year, and moved again, thus I was not even ALLOWED to take in this baby. I couldn’t pass DCS clearance in time. And I knew it. The only way I could take this baby would have been illegally. And to illegally taking a baby I say no. I wouldn’t put my family through an against the law placement. In our state a child under age 3 can only have emergency open case placement with someone who has shared residence or someone who qualifies for substantial connection like kinship. I qualified as neither. If I took him they’d take him back and everyone would be worse off.
Jeffries maintained that her emotional, financial, and logistical concerns about unexpectedly caring for a baby were immaterial, and his mother’s choice to attempt to not have an abortion was the sole relevant factor:
If I take him or not isn’t what’s important. What’s important is that he is with a family who loves and adores him and keeps him safe. What’s important is that even though it’s not been ideal his life has been worth living. He wasn’t better off dead or never existing.
Although Jeffries ultimately declined (or was legally prohibited from) fostering the baby, she said that she would “always be there for him,” presumably just not in terms of taking him in:
And I will always be there for him. He will always have me and I will always do everything in my power to make sure he is safe and loved just as I have since he was 8 weeks old in the womb. I’ve been by his side his entire life…he couldn’t get rid of me even if he tried!
Finally, Jeffries complained that her words were “taken out of context” and dishonestly edited to make her look bad, while still maintaining her post was authentic and unaltered. In that portion, she added that initially, she didn’t “explain everything” nor add that she “wasn’t cleared” to take him, a claim that seemed to contradict her original post:
I get people are posting edited and cropped down year old screen shots that were stolen from a private prolife advocacy group, and yeah that out of context incomplete screens shot looks bad. I didn’t word it well and it’s easy to take out of context. I didn’t explain everything in that post the way I have here because I didn’t need to. It wasn’t a post to the public or to people who didn’t know I wasn’t cleared to take him. Those reading the post that day a year ago knew the story and saw the updates that followed that day and those that have followed for a year now. Had that post been a public statement on the events of the day rather than an in the moment update to fellow advocates in a private group I would’ve worded it more officially and explained all aspects of the case as I have here.
Pro-abortion people are posting about this all over to make me look bad or like I failed when they have no idea the reality is the opposite. This wasn’t a fail. This wasn’t a refusal to continue to support, love, and protect this baby boy … it doesn’t matter because that baby boy…oh how I love him. He’s so worth every bit of the hard.
Screenshots of a “real-life post by an anti-abortion activist” complaining about her inability to care for a child due to emotional, financial, physical, and logistical stressors were not satire. Jamie Jeffries herself confirmed the post was both authored by her and shared freely to the closed group “Are You Even Pro-Life?” at some point in the past. Jeffries said in January 2020 that although she was unwilling to care for the baby boy, she enlisted another person to adopt him after DCS sought placement for the child six months after his birth.