In today's news climate, this satirical anti-abortion headline seems real — but it's not

In today's news climate, this satirical anti-abortion headline seems real — but it's not
Source: AP
Source: AP

When Serena Williams (accidentally) announced she was expecting, it didn't take long for people to put together that the world champion tennis star had won the Australian Open while pregnant.

While Williams insisted it was mostly NBD, for us mere mortals it was proof of the athlete's godlike tennis skills — which is why many Twitter users were baffled when @PollyRosey tweeted out a headline reading, "Anti-abortion advocate calls for Serena Williams to be stripped of grand slam title, claiming 'fetal personhood' means she was unfairly advantaged."

The deck on the article added, "The legislator claims the fetus technically should have counted as a doubles partner." 

A quick scan of the article, published on Australian student newspaper Honi Soit's site, would reveal that it was filed to the "comedy" section. But considering the rigorous — and often straight-up absurd — anti-abortion waters we're swimming in, some 90,000 Twitter users (as of this writing) accepted the headline as fact.

Sure — it's possible that a good portion of those 90,000 users who favorited and retweeted @PollyRosey's tweet could've done so realizing it was a joke. 

That sure as hell wasn't the case in the user's mention, though.

"What are they going to do next — make pregnant women pay for two bus fares?" Twitter user @_Isabellaannie wrote. "I can hardly see how it's an advantage your body would be going through so much already," @PollyRosey replied, apparently in earnest.

"If anything it's a disadvantage as she's carrying extra weight and has to be more careful, how ridiculous," she added in a follow-up tweet, which earned 291 favorites.

Under normal circumstances, we might think it ridiculous that tens of thousands of people would believe that a legislator in the United States government would suggest Williams' fetus counts as her tennis partner. But in a world where a Missouri state senator joked that women should get abortions at the zoo, it could easily be mistaken for just another day in President Donald Trump's America.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Marie Solis

Marie is a Slay staff writer with focuses in culture and class. Her writing has appeared in Gothamist and the Awl. You can reach her at marie@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Bill Cosby to appear in court for alleged 1974 assault of 15-year-old girl

Cosby will appear in court on July 30, 2018 for allegedly forcing a teen girl to perform oral sex on him over 40 years ago.

Nearly 850 backlogged rape kits were found infested with mold in Texas

The mold-infested rape kits don't appear to have contaminated the DNA samples inside, according to authorities.

Season 11 of 'The X-Files' will be written entirely by men

Only six women have ever written for the beloved sci-fi show, which boasts over 200 episodes and spawned two feature-length films.

Does nursing require a "woman’s touch"? These male nurses say no.

Christian Martin and Dan Douglas are two men working as nurses — and it's mostly NBD.

The GOP health care bill's one-year ban on Planned Parenthood is a bigger problem than you think

Compared to the millions who will lose coverage, restricting federal funds for just 365 days doesn't seem that bad. But it is.

There's a new effort to recall Judge Aaron Perksy, who sentenced Brock Turner

If voters in Persky's county collect enough signatures, the judge could be on the chopping block in 2018.

Bill Cosby to appear in court for alleged 1974 assault of 15-year-old girl

Cosby will appear in court on July 30, 2018 for allegedly forcing a teen girl to perform oral sex on him over 40 years ago.

Nearly 850 backlogged rape kits were found infested with mold in Texas

The mold-infested rape kits don't appear to have contaminated the DNA samples inside, according to authorities.

Season 11 of 'The X-Files' will be written entirely by men

Only six women have ever written for the beloved sci-fi show, which boasts over 200 episodes and spawned two feature-length films.

Does nursing require a "woman’s touch"? These male nurses say no.

Christian Martin and Dan Douglas are two men working as nurses — and it's mostly NBD.

The GOP health care bill's one-year ban on Planned Parenthood is a bigger problem than you think

Compared to the millions who will lose coverage, restricting federal funds for just 365 days doesn't seem that bad. But it is.

There's a new effort to recall Judge Aaron Perksy, who sentenced Brock Turner

If voters in Persky's county collect enough signatures, the judge could be on the chopping block in 2018.