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Fury over couple's website vote on whether they should keep or abort their unborn child

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Master Bullshitter
Master Bullshitter
Fury over couple's website vote on whether they should keep or abort their unborn child

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 3:37 PM on 19th November 2010

* Perfectly healthy foetus, nicknamed 'Wiggles', is 17 weeks old
* Pro-life groups liken vote to 'thumbs down' mob rule of the Roman Colosseum
* Parents say they'll abide by majority vote
* More than half polled say 'have the abortion'

A married couple has sparked fury by setting up a website to let the public vote on whether or not they should have an abortion.

Pete and Alisha Arnold, both 30, say they launched www.birthornot.com because they are unsure if they want to be parents.

They believe the controversial poll so the public could 'make a difference in the real world'.

The couple, from Minneapolis, have uploaded regular scan images of the foetus, which is a perfectly-healthy boy they have nicknamed 'Wiggles'.

The subject matter is so provocative that some are questioning whether the site has been set up deliberately to upset anti-abortionists.

Fury: Pete and Alisha Arnold have set up a website Birthornot.com so internet users can help them decide whether to keep their unborn child or not

However, the couple strenuously deny this.

Alisha is now 17 weeks pregnant and web users have until December 7 to cast their vote - just two days before the 20-week cut-off line for a state-legal abortion.

Mary Spaulding Balch, director of state legislation for National Right to Life, said: ‘This is shocking.The first thing that came to my mind when I heard of this was the Roman Colosseum when the mob picked who lived and who died.

‘They are talking about a baby that is 17 weeks old, it has a beating heart, its brain is working and nerve endings throughout its body.

‘By 20 weeks when the vote is up it will be developed enough to feel excruciating pain. What they are doing is beyond comprehension’.

Eric Scheidler, executive director of the Chicago-based Pro-life action league, said: ‘I am horrified at the depths to which they have sunk and their failure to comprehend the dignity and value of human life.

Foetus: Their site includes ultrasound images of their 17-week unborn boy, which they have nicknamed 'Wiggles'

'I do not understand how somebody can be so ice-cold and calculated and flippant about the fate of their unborn child. Seeing the images of the baby as it develops just makes things worse.

‘What are they going to tell the child if it is born? How can they parent the baby when they are happy to entrust his fate to utter strangers?’

The latest results shows a fairly split opinion, with 46.27 per cent voting to keep the baby and 53.73 per cent wanting the couple to have an abortion.

The Arnolds launched their blog on September 28 with the news that Mrs Arnold was pregnant. Tests have revealed the fetus is a boy.

On the Facebook page for Mrs Arnold, a methodist, it states she is a fan of right-wing commentator Glenn Beck.

Controversy: The couple, from Minnesota, U.S., said they were unsure whether to continue with the pregnancy because they had put off having children for so long

Mr Arnold, a non-practicing Catholic, has made comments in the past in support of former US President George W Bush, who is pro-life.

Writing on the blog, Mrs Arnold said she fears the pressure of juggling motherhood and a career could cause her to have a nervous breakdown.

She wrote: 'I'm not convinced that I want to change the status quo. I feel that as I age I've actually gotten more selfish and set in my ways.

'I'm afraid that I will eventually regret starting a family and "settling down", as they say.

'I fear that the constant pressure to be the perfect wife and mother while maintaining a full-time job will eventually cause my brain to implode and lead to a nervous breakdown.'

Their solution to the dilemma was to set up a public vote, which the couple say is in the best traditions of American democracy.

Choice: Voters have until December 7th to take part in the online poll, which has already received more than 30,000 entries

They state on the site: 'Voting is such an integral part of the American identity. We vote on everything from the best singer on American Idol to who the next leader of the free world will be.

'Wouldn't it be nice to voice your opinion and have it actually make a difference in the real world? Why not vote on whether to continue or abort an actual pregnancy?'

Pete and Alisha, who have been married for nine years, both work in the IT industry and are keen bloggers.

They have suffered two miscarriages in the past ten months - the first at 16 weeks and the second at five weeks.

Despite falling pregnant for the third time, the couple said they were unsure whether to proceed because they have put off having a child for so long.

Writing on his blog, Mr Arnold said: 'We've put off having a kid for so long that I worry there is stagnation in our desire to do so.

'At first we put it off to finish our childhood, and then I decided mine was not going to end without a push.
'This is shocking.The first thing that came to my mind when I heard of this was the Roman Colosseum, when the mob picked who lived and who died. They are talking about a baby that is 17 weeks old, it has a beating heart, its brain is working and nerve endings throughout its body'

'By that time Alisha had just gotten a new job and was getting settled, so we put it off longer.

'Now, nearly ten years after our marriage the prospect of being in my 50s when a kid graduates childhood is a bit unnerving.'

They told U.S. website Gawker: 'We are taking this very seriously. It's definitely not a pro-life campaign, we believe in a woman's right to choose.

'It's kind of like Congress. They might vote for something, but the president has the final veto.

'If it's overwhelming one way or the other, that will carry a lot more weight.'

David Davidson, who originally voted on the poll without giving his name, had a change of heart after viewing the baby scans - and he begged them to consider their actions.

He said: 'Just because I acted like an immature little child who didn't weigh the cost of manipulating this poll because I thought it would be "funny" doesn't mean you should sacrifice your child to the internet deity that is "Anonymous".'

Another anonymous user added: 'If you're dumb enough to let random strangers on the internet decide the fate of your family, then you are certainly not mature enough to be parents. You need professional help.'

Despite the anger, the couple have continued with the website and 'support people encouraging others to voice their opinions on an issue as large as keeping a baby or not'.

Pro-life groups today slammed their website as 'spine-chilling'.

Rebecca Ng, spokesman for the ProLife Alliance, said: 'Whatever the intention behind this horrifying and objectionable website, the couple in question are maintaining that they will respect the public vote on whether to abort or not.

'Note that they place abortion above keeping the baby on their voting button choice.

'Whatever may or may not be real about this website, the ultrasound of the baby is of a real human being. To think for one minute that his or her existence is going to be determined by those who log on and vote is absolutely spine-chilling.'

Mike Judge, Head of Communications for The Christian Institute, said: 'If it's genuine, it's appalling. Even if it's a prank, it's in very bad taste.

'Abortion is a highly sensitive issue. If there's anything anything good to come from this it is unlikely. I don't support it whether serious or a prank.

'I've never seen anything like it, I can't conceive of anything so immature.

'We deal with lots of different issues. Would you get someone's father or mother suffering Alzheimer's and run a poll to see if we should put a pillow over their face? It's just not the way to go about it.'

"Live and let live and let nature be your teacher,
respect the lives of your fellow creatures"

zone 7
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Have these idiots never heard of putting a baby up for adoption? There are soooo many people who would gladly adopt their unwanted baby. But, in all seriousness, I think the whole thing is a fake just to see what people will say.

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Master Bullshitter
Master Bullshitter
I think I agree w/ you Rosebud. It's an awful way of seeing what people will say tho

"Live and let live and let nature be your teacher,
respect the lives of your fellow creatures"

zone 7
View user profile

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