Fact check: Fake abortion-related post wrongly attributed to J.K. Rowling

·3 min read

The claim: Image shows J.K. Rowling tweeted, 'If you American birds could keep your legs closed then maybe you wouldn't need abortions in the first place?'

Following the June 24 Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, a screenshot of a supposed tweet is circulating on social media that purports to show ''Harry Potter'' author J.K. Rowling ridiculing women who oppose the ruling.

"If you American birds could keep your legs closed then maybe you wouldn't need abortions in the first place," reads the text in what appears to be a screenshot of a tweet from Rowling's account.

Hundreds of Twitter and Facebook users shared the image along with criticism of – or support for – Rowling's supposed position on abortion.

"JK Rowling is garbage," one user captioned a June 27 post of the image.

Others, like one Twitter user who posted the image, took it as a joke. "I know that it’s fake and I would say 98% of the people who liked (my tweet) also knew it was fake," she wrote.

The tweet is indeed fake. There is no reason to believe Rowling actually shared the message in the image which is altered.

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USA TODAY reached out to several users who shared the claim for comment.

March 29, 2022: JK Rowling attends the "Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore" world premiere at The Royal Festival Hall in London, England.
March 29, 2022: JK Rowling attends the "Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore" world premiere at The Royal Festival Hall in London, England.

No evidence Rowling posted the purported tweet in the image

There's no evidence that Rowling shared a tweet disparaging "American birds" who support abortion rights, as Reuters also reported.

First, the screenshot says Rowling published the tweet on June 26, but archives of Rowling's Twitter profile from June 26 and June 27 don't show any posts matching the image.

Second, even if Rowling had posted and subsequently deleted the tweet, it is likely that responses from followers would still be live. The author has more than 13 million Twitter followers, and her tweets often have hundreds or thousands of replies. But neither USA TODAY nor Reuters found any such responses.

Third, the purported tweet contradicts statements Rowling has made about her support for abortion rights. On May 6, days after the unprecedented leak of a draft opinion in the high court's blockbuster abortion case , she wrote that she believes "women all over the world should have access to safe, legal abortion."

On June 28, she tweeted that a statement made by a member of British Parliament was "more proof, as though it were needed, that women's rights are under attack across the developed world. #RoeVsWade."

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Rowling's spokesperson also denied the claim.

"The tweet you reference is not by J.K. Rowling, it is a fabricated post," Mark Hutchinson, the author's public relations representative, wrote in an email to USA TODAY.

Our rating: Altered

Based on our research, we rate ALTERED an image purporting to show that Rowling tweeted, "If you American birds could keep your legs closed then maybe you wouldn't need abortions in the first place." There's no evidence Rowling posted a tweet with that message in archives of the author's profile, and there are no replies still up on Twitter that would suggest she posted and then deleted  such a tweet. Her spokesperson also said the post was "fabricated.''

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Fake post wrongly attributed to J.K. Rowling

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