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Couple's poll on fetus' fate criticized by both sides of abortion debate

On their website, birthornot.com, the Minnesotans ask visitors to vote whether they should abort the wife's fetus or not.

November 21, 2010|From Reuters

MINNEAPOLIS

A Minnesota couple have stirred up the debate over abortion and raised questions about their sanity by asking visitors to their website to vote whether they should abort the wife's fetus or not.

So far, 80% of about 75,000 voters voted "give birth" and 20% voted for an abortion on the birthornot.com website put up by Pete and Alisha Arnold, both 30.

In published interviews, the couple have insisted that they have the final say but said the public's voice would carry weight on whether to abort the 17-week-old male fetus they have dubbed "Wiggles."

In an interview on gawker.com, Pete Arnold said the couple were "taking this very seriously." Alisha Arnold insisted that "it's definitely not a pro-life campaign. I believe in a woman's right to choose."

The couple, who live in the Minneapolis suburb of Apple Valley, said they have until Dec. 9 to decide and that voting will end two days earlier.

Meanwhile, they have posted personal details about Alisha's past miscarriages, her struggles with her weight, their questions about their fitness as parents, and several ultrasound images of the fetus.

The website was criticized by people on both sides of the abortion debate.

Scott Fischbach, executive director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, told the St. Paul Pioneer Press that the couple's website was hypocritical.

"They express the humanity of the child and then they put it up for a vote," Fischbach said.

Linnea House, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota, told the newspaper, "This website gives the impression that making this profoundly personal decision is akin to voting on a reality TV show.

"It is an insult to women, and I think most people will dismiss it as a sad attempt to get attention."

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