Couple holds abortion poll

2010-11-19 07:22

Chicago - A Minnesota couple says they are leaving the decision about whether they should get an abortion up to an online poll posted on a website showing ultrasounds of the healthy, 16-week old foetus dubbed "Wiggles".

Pete and Alisha Arnold, both 30, insisted that the website is not a prank or a convoluted anti-abortion campaign, in an interview posted on Thursday on

"We are taking this very seriously," Pete Arnold told Gawker, adding that while the poll will influence their decision heavily, it won't be binding.

"It's kind of like Congress. They might vote for something, but the president has the final veto," he said. "If it's overwhelming one way or the other - that will carry a lot more weight."

The poll results were pretty much split before the article was posted, but the publicity garnered a significant amount of votes - and vitriolic comments - and was at 81% in favour of giving birth and 19% in favour of abortion by Thursday evening.

Two miscarriages

"What a pathetic and disgusting ploy to get your 15 minutes of fame," one commenter wrote.

"Do you not understand how many people in this world want babies and cannot have them?" wrote another. "Have some compassion."

One third of 545 commentators were against abortion; their strong feeling summed up in this comment: "You guys are sick. Give that poor child up for adoption after you have him, maybe then he'll have a chance at some semblance of normalcy. God knows he won't get it with you."

The Arnolds said they've been married for 10 years and went through two miscarriages earlier this year. They set up because they're not sure they're ready for parenthood.

They plan to keep the poll open until December 7 - two days before the pregnancy will be too far along to be legally terminated in Minnesota.

Alisha's posts describe her boredom while on bed rest after a near-miscarriage early in the pregnancy, her trouble digesting pre-natal vitamins and her fears about pregnancy and motherhood.

"I'm afraid that I will eventually regret starting a family and 'settling down', as they say," she wrote in a September blog post announcing her pregnancy.

"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."

Pete's initial post described his excitement "at the prospect of being a father" and hoped that the baby would be healthy, along with fears of being an older parent.

  • green_goblin - 2010-11-19 07:49

    Just shows that all countries have their own sick F@cks..

      lucy.caswell - 2010-11-19 11:13

      Couldn't agree more!

  • Tourmaline - 2010-11-19 07:53

    Whacked... completely whacked... if you can't deal with the consequences of sex, don't do it!! Children are a result of sex, and it's life is not a gamble! You make the baby, you take care of it, or give it up to a family that wants it and shoot yourself.

  • laila.nagdee - 2010-11-19 08:10

    I don't understand why she allowed herself to get pregnant 3 times when she had doubts about being a parent. Seriously, people should be screened and need to obtain a license to procreate!!!

      liesl - 2010-11-19 08:33

      Can't agree more. My word, it is NOT difficult to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. Women should take charge of their bodies, absolutely, and that includes taking responsibility for their actions.

  • paulus.nel - 2010-11-19 08:24

    This is yet another sign of how the hearts of men grow colder and colder. Gods decision replaced by an online poll. Its sad, but its all written in revelation.

      paulus.nel - 2010-11-19 08:30

      Oh yes another thing, how will this poor child feel when he / she learns as a teenager that this is what happened?

  • Fairy.Queen - 2010-11-19 08:32

    Really?? Boredom???

  • Nifty - 2010-11-19 08:33

    "along with fears of being an older parent" - huh? I thought they were 30? These people are something else....

  • nessiebean - 2010-11-19 08:38

    This is crazy. I'm pro-choice, but it's a serious choice that should be made personally and not involving strangers, especially in such a blithe manner. If they really could go either way, then I don't see what the question is even about - of course have the baby! I think these people are just immature and trolling for attention. You mean to say a man and wife can't make a life changing decision like this within their own relationship, or with the counsel of close friends and mentors? In that case, they probably don't deserve a child. Rather have the baby and give it up for adoption.

      robertgunning - 2010-11-19 08:52

      I agree 100% Good points.

      nessiebean - 2010-11-19 16:05

      Okay, there's been some research into it. It appears to be a right-wing anti-abortion hoax. Read it here.

      Paralegal - 2010-11-19 16:57

      Nessiebean, I believe you are correct. I check out the website whose link you posted and they certainly make a very good argument for the whole thing being a hoax. Which, in my opinion, almost makes it worse. What is this world coming to? Goodness, now I sound like my mother! ;0)

      nessiebean - 2010-11-19 23:30

      Paralegal, I think what makes it more repulsive (if not surprising) is that its being done by people who would like to see themselves as taking a moral high-ground, but it's such a deceptive, intentionally callous method of trying to make a point. They've created 2 unlikeable characters to essentially 'represent' the face of abortion. It's playing with a subtext that people who get consider abortions are selfish, careless and childish. They're exploiting emotional responses as a way to create an overall feeling around the issue of abortion, instead of open, rational discussion. And the scary thing is, those people most likely to agree will also be those people who are completely unaware of how, basically, they're being used.

  • Nonlocal - 2010-11-19 08:39

    Unfortunately the couple cant read this but for every one else considering abortion, please visit a internet site and see that a 16 week old fetus is actually a baby...not just a thing that can be disposse off as garbage...

  • jka - 2010-11-19 09:03

    The comment: "Do you not understand how many people in this world want babies and cannot have them?" wrote another. "Have some compassion." Coul easily be changed to "Do you not understand how many children in this world need a loving home...have some compassion" The world is overpopulated, there are thousands of babies in need of a home. If you want to be a parent, adopt.

      Paralegal - 2010-11-19 16:49

      Well said. Couldn't agree more.

  • sipho.sibiya12 - 2010-11-19 09:06

    I'm pro-choice, but this is just ridiculous. If they don't want to have the baby then abort it.

  • John - 2010-11-19 09:08

    I think it is quite an interesting thing the couple do...It stirs emotions and make people think a bit.

      tcCarla - 2010-11-23 17:51

      I agree with you and somehow I hope they do it just to get people talking about it, its easy to say abortion should be allowed when and its someone else's decision and problem, when they "make" it yours its a different ballgame

  • Tigra - 2010-11-19 09:16

    At 16 weeks, you can already see whether the baby is a boy or a girl! This is very sick...

  • Weasledna - 2010-11-19 09:27

    I think there should be a law that will force a court to have this ladies uterus removed ... Im sorry for being blunt like this , but why get pregnant so many times then wonder if you really want to be pregnant ... Im also pro choice but this is just way to out there

      Heather Stip - 2010-11-19 10:08

      Totally agree. She should have a hysterectomy and get it over with. They are both oxygen thieves! By all means, you decide whether you want a child or not, but to ask total strangers to vote on your child's behalf is just plain sick.

  • lpaikin - 2010-11-19 09:48

    How disgusting. If they not sure if they are ready for parenthood, why are they trying to have a baby - the article mentions 2 other miscariiages. She should be on birth control until decided. People like this should be put down - for being stupid, for having no compassion for people who cannot have children and for turning something that is a very personal choice into something as base as a poll on whether the child lives or dies. I am pro choice - but this is demented and disgusting.

  • Ammie - 2010-11-19 10:01

    Did you need a poll to decide whether you were going to have sex? IDIOTS! Stop looking for attention and go and buy some contraception. Abortion is not contraception!

  • AJ - 2010-11-19 10:10

    Not sure they are ready for parenthood, but already had 2 miscarriages? Why on earth would you not be using contraception then?

  • TinyT - 2010-11-19 10:15

    I would generally be anti abortion although I feel it is a personal choice. However, I hate to think what a messed up life the poor child would have if born...

  • StJohn - 2010-11-19 10:49

    Sick sick sick - too late to moan about whether you are ready to start a family - should have kept your legs together and zip closed (respectively). ""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." - what is this? Pure selfishness!

  • Evodia - 2010-11-19 10:54

    I am pregnant as well and admit having fears of the changes I have to make for the baby, but what you are doing is not right. Imagine you have the baby and years after today that child stumbles onto your web page. Is this what you want your child to read about his or her parents? You have been made the guardian of that baby and you will be accountable for the decision you make. God help the too of you, I can expect this from a man but from a woman, Woman what are you doing? Regards

  • Nicko Minaj - 2010-11-19 12:09


  • TheOwl1981 - 2010-11-19 12:51

    The shit people will do for their own little 5 minutes of fame...

  • Lady Bug - 2010-11-19 13:03

    This is Sick and disgusting!! She is 4 months pregnant for goodness sake! Would she be happy to sit and have people vote whether she should live or die???!!

  • Winston - 2010-11-19 13:25

    This is just absolutely absurd and just plain grotesque! Is this what the value of hum an life has become!? A bloody voting game,Im not normally such a blunt or apathetic person but I think somebody should open a poll on whether these two should be given the lethal injection! Whats good for the goose is good for the gander.That is all.

  • Werner - 2010-11-19 13:32

    Maybe they should abort . . . stop this idiotic gene pool in its tracks.

  • Ioannis - 2010-11-19 13:49

    These people should be sterilised. Their possible breeding futher damages the gene pool. Two miscarriages, and they still don't uunderstand what they are doing. Use a condom if you are not "ready" to be parents. If not, you are too stupid and irresponsible to breed. Sterilise them!!

  • Jennifer - 2010-11-19 14:30

    You two don't deserve to be parents!!!!! Why wait until 16 weeks...That's already a human baby inside of you not just a bunch of cells anymore. How dare you!!! Give that poor baby a chance live or give it up for adoption, give it to a family that want's to have a baby but can't. You are very selfish and don't deserve to live.

  • illegalflowa - 2010-11-19 16:09

    I think they should have the abortion just think whatkind of parents they will be for this child. Poor poor child!!! People like this should not breed in the fists place!!!

  • CA Meijer - 2010-11-20 19:42

    The poll is a fraud

  • maceye - 2010-11-21 20:01

    whats the problem, it's like voting on whether someone should have liposuction or not. Its only a feoutus people, why worry. Now that I have got your attention, can't you see how insane having an abortion really is. If you believe that abortion is a choice, then don't you think its only natural to vote on something so trivial. For those who abhor such behavior but condone the right for a woman to choose, then surely your reasoning is flawed and you'll realise that you are a hypocrite.

  • cazzieb - 2010-11-22 09:00


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