what are your thoughts about this website and the couple?

Couple insists abortion-by-vote website is not a pro-life hoax, bloggers try to prove it is fake

Friday, November 19th 2010, 6:45 PM

The Arnolds say the poll they created to put their pregnancy decision to a vote is not a hoax.
Pete Arnold
The Arnolds say the poll they created to put their pregnancy decision to a vote is not a hoax.

Alisha Arnold is 16 weeks pregnant – but whether she will give birth to her baby or not is up to you.

Arnold and her husband Pete, both 30, are crowd sourcing the decision to keep their baby or have an abortion, via a poll open to the public on their website birthornot.com.

The site has outraged many, and left the Internet buzzing with speculation it is a pro-life hoax.

But the Arnolds, who both work in IT and have been married for over nine years, insist the poll is for real.

"If people come to the conclusion that it's meant to be a stunt, that's definitely not the case," Pete told the Daily News in a phone interview. Though he identifies as a libertarian, he says neither he nor his wife are "activists."

Pete says they created the website as a forum for people to weigh in on the controversial topic of abortion in a meaningful way, adding that even he and his wife disagree on the issue.

"We, like most households, are split," he said, though he declined to answer how. The couple has no children, though Alisha has had two miscarriages.

"I got the URL before that second miscarriage," Pete said. “We got pregnant and then decided, let's not do anything about it. Let's not press our luck, let's just move forward. And then we had another miscarriage. We decided to go forward with [the site] on our now third pregnancy."

Sites like Gawker and Jezebel, however, adamantly believe birthornot.com is fake.

They dug up Pete's past history as a blogger for right-wing websites under the internet handle Zeeboid, which he reportedly used to change the definition of "pro-choice" in a Daily Kos Wikipedia entry to read, "The term 'pro-choice' is used by men and women who support a woman's right to kill an unborn child. The term means that a woman has the right to determine whether or not she will be pregnant by killing a baby that has already been conceived. Also Refered to as Pro Abortion."

Skeptics also point to the sonogram photos the couple posts every few weeks, charting the growth of the fetus they call "Baby Wiggles," as clear evidence the site is a pro-life stunt to force abortion supporters to face the reality of what terminating a pregnancy means.

The Arnolds posted this photo of their baby to show its progress.

If it's a hoax, it's a very elaborate one.

The couple's diary-style entries began September 28, when they first announced Alisha's pregnancy.

"I am pretty excited about it," Pete writes, though Alisha says she's "not certain" from day one.

Yet the couple's writing style, much like Pete's tone over the phone, is surprisingly unemotional, leaving many disturbed by the Arnolds' seemingly callous attitude, or unconvinced of the poll's validity.

"Voting is not a game, and believe me when I say, neither is this," he wrote on the site in response to one negative commenter. "The public decides the fate of others every election cycle…Here you have an opportunity to more than voice your concern to an elected representative."

Pete says he's able to "shrug off" the barrage of negative and hostile comments he has received, and points out that he has gotten positive support from the site's visitors as well. Many commenters have even offered to adopt their child rather than let them go through with an abortion, an option Pete implied they may still be considering.

The Arnolds say they are leaving the vote open until Dec. 7, two days before their last chance to get a legal abortion in Minnesota where they live.

Right now, 80% of voters say they should "give birth" while only 19% chose that they should "have an abortion."

Pete says they'll be happy whatever the outcome is, and that they haven't thought twice about the decision to do the poll. "Regret hasn’t come into our minds yet," he said.

And no matter what, he doesn't think this is the couple's last shot to have a child. "I'm certainly open to having more kids," he said, though he admits, "We wouldn't put it up for a vote like that again."

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2010/11/19/2010-11-19_couple_insists_abortionbyvote_website_is_not_a_prolife_hoax_bloggers_try_to_prov.html#ixzz15niXmRf9

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Nov. 20, 2010 at 2:29 AM

If it IS real (and quite honestly I hope it's not!) can you imagine what that child would feel like when it got older? And how could anyone leave a decision like that to a web poll?!  I hope it's fake.  Really, really hope it's fake.


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