Student crowdfunding $1m to prevent abortion
A fictional US student appeared to be seeking $1m in a crowdfunding campaign to prevent her having an abortion Getty

A 26-year-old woman's efforts to raise $1m (£650,000) to stop her having an abortion has been revealed as a publicity stunt for a new novel by controversial author Chad Kultgen.

The website was published in June and appeared to be the work of an anonymous woman who had set up a PayPal account, into which funds could be submitted from 7 July to stop her terminating her unborn baby. She said that if $1m was raised in 72 hours, then she would cancel the abortion she had scheduled for three days later.

But on 7 July the website disappeared and was replaced by a page promoting a novel by Chad Kultgen called Strange Animals. The page described the crowd-funded abortion stunt as "an augmented excerpt" from the book, which is on sale now.

Kultgen, 39, is known for writing several novels on the sexual relationships of Americans.

Called Karen Halloway, the fictional woman features in the book as a mother-to-be who has decided to delay her abortion. According to the book's synopsis, Karen "became increasingly aware of the unique position pregnancy afforded her... for the first time in her life, she began to feel that she could do something that changed the way people thought."

Halloway is a philosophy graduate student searching for a dissertation topic "strong enough to change the world" when she accidentally gets pregnant and sets up the crowdfunding experiment. She notes that if the 157 million Americans who claim to be pro-life donated, then it would cost them less than one cent each to save the life of her unborn child.

"The pro-life movement cares very little about saving lives," Halloway said on the fake website. "[They care] far more about controlling women by minimising their choices in a wide variety of ways, not the least of which is readily available reproductive health care."