Congressman Falls for The Onion's Planned Parenthood 'Abortionplex' Story

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Meet John Fleming, the unfortunate Republican U.S. Representative from Louisiana who made that wonderful and all-too-common mistake of thinking that an Onion article was real and telling his Facebook followers to read it. Fleming's Facebook status was posted by Literally Unbelievable, a Tumblr that collects images of Facebookers who think Onion satires are the real deal and post them on their walls.

Below is an update Fleming posted (from Friday, according to the blogger) for his followers to read about Planned Parenthood's "wholesale" approach to providing abortions:

What's doubly sad about this posting (obviously deleted now) is that The Onion article shared, "Planned Parenthood Opens $8 Billion Abortionplex," is from May 2011 and is something of a viral classic, even inspiring some users of Yelp to "review" the facility described. So not only did Rep. Fleming (who calls abortion a "pernicious evil") or at least one of his staffers believe Kansas now has an abortion clinic with "coffee shops, bars, dozens of restaurants and retail outlets, a three-story nightclub, and a 10-screen multiplex theater," but it's not even recent fake news. (Though it's a fake news item that's gotten other people who weren't U.S. representatives.)

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Hudson Hongo, the freelance writer who runs Literally Unbelievable, explained what happened by email. "The Onion reran their Abortionplex article in response to the Komen Foundation controversy and it has found a second life among misled abortion opponents," he writes. Rep. Fleming shouldn't feel too bad, though: The Abortionplex does have legs. As Literally's Hongo says, "I would completely agree about this being LitUnbelievable's greatest post."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.