Fake News: NO Tax Rebates for Women who Get Abortions in California

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk

UPDATE: Story confirmed a hoax, part of promotional campaign for movie "A Cure for Wellness".

A site named "The Sacramento Dispatch" ran a fake story titled "California Legislature to Consider Tax Rebates for Women who Get Abortions". It starts off like this:

The California legislature is taking a stand against the Trump administration and what lawmakers consider to be a war on women's reproductive rights.

The Woman's Right to Chose Rebate is part of bill number AB 793 introduced late this evening by assembly member Maria Elena Guzman just one week before the February 17th deadline for bills to be introduced within the current session.

Among other things, AB793 provides a tax rebate of up to $1000 for first trimester abortions for first time visitors. Each additional visit will receive a rebate of up to $750. The average cost of an in-clinic abortion procedure is around $1500.

This story is entirely made up and there is no truth to it at all. There are several reasons why it is a hoax:

  • There is no California assembly member "Maria Elena Guzman" listed on the site of the California State Assembly.
  • Assembly bill 793 is actually titled "An act to amend Section 2790 of, and to add Section 8365 to, the Public Utilities Code, relating to public utilities" and has nothing to do with abortion or healthcare. The words 'abortion', 'tax-rebate' or even just 'tax' do not even occur in it.
  • The Sacramento Dispatch is a fake website designed to look like a regional newspaper. None of its articles even have dates and the site is part of a larger network of similar sites with almost exactly the same articles, for example the Houston Leader (which also publishes fake news).
  • Halfway through the article "Maria Elena Guzman" is suddenly referred to as "Ms. Sanchez":

Ms. Sanchez appears to have enough support within the legislature to pass the bill. She told Sacramento Dispatch, "Republicans have for years been waging a war on women and restricting our rights in making reproductive choices by closing clinics, withholding funds for family planning and making the process of getting an abortion difficult for most women. Oftentimes this results in women who are out of wedlock, or not financially stable enough to give birth to children in healthy environments. At that point it is up to the state to step in to help the child, but of course Republicans are against that as well. We feel this is unacceptable, financially unsustainable, and against what we stand for as Christians."

So far the spread of this fake news article has been relatively limited as the Trendolizer graph at the end of this article shows, and no other hoax busting or fact checking websites have debunked the story yet. Only about 300 people seem to have liked/shared it at the time this article was published. If you want to help stop the further spread of this hoax, you can help:

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