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Fact Check-Photo of anti-baby banners at rally was likely digitally altered

Social media users have been sharing a photo of two women holding signs which appear to display anti-baby slogans. Some commenters have suggested the women are pro-choice campaigners at a demonstration supporting women’s right to have abortions. But online searches suggest the photo was originally meant as a joke and the slogans were added to the image digitally as part of a humorous caption-writing competition.

The photo shows each woman holding a sign. The one on the left reads: “Babies are useless they can’t even talk” and the one on the right: “Kill the little freeloaders.”

It was shared widely online during protests triggered by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last week to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, which recognized women's constitutional right to abortion (here) (here).

One tweet including the image has been shared more than 16,000 times (here). One message left underneath read: “I'm not pro-life but you guys need therapy if you hate babies that much. This ain't it,” and “So, these are extremists. Both sides have them. In case you didn’t know.”

Another version circulating on Facebook includes the overlayed text: “Here’s your women’s movement pure evil,” (here). Other examples can be found (here) (here).

The photo has appeared online before. The earliest version that Reuters could find was on the website DesignCrowd which was holding a competition, encouraging readers to digitally create “stupid protest” banners. (here).

The photo of the women appears with other entries on the page. Comments alongside it suggest it was submitted in 2003. Other captions that have clearly been added to banners in other entries include: “Comic Sans is the antichrist” (here), “dislexics of the world, uniet” (here ) and “every night should be Bingo night”.

The website says it “received 44 Photoshop submissions from 40 creatives”.

Snopes addressed this same image in 2017 (here).

VERDICT

False. The photo was submitted as part of website collecting edited protest signs for humor.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .     

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