Thursday, November 18, 2010

Couple Asks Internet Users to Vote on Whether They Should Have an Abortion or Not

A Minneapolis couple, who have been married for 10 years, is preparing for the arrival of their first child. But that might all change, if John Q Public decides they should have an abortion instead.

Pete and Alisha Arnold, both 30, started blogging about their pregnancy last September, but on their Web site, which prominently display dozens of images of their unborn baby's ultrasound, there's a poll that asks, "Should we give birth or have an abortion?" The poll closes on December 7, two days before the end of the 20th week of pregnancy and their last chance to legally get an abortion.

"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," they told the folks over at Gawker.

Alisha said that three miscarriages in under a year -- the first at 16 weeks and the second at five weeks. During the second pregnancy, the couple considered putting whether they had that baby up a public vote, but they lost the baby.

When she became pregnant this time, she decided to launch the poll. The latest results show a fairly split opinion, with 46% voting to keep the baby and 53% wanting the couple to have an abortion. (Addendum: Since the story became public, the tides have shifted: With more than 21,000 votes, 80% of respondents are encouraging the couple to give birth.)

Alisha, who's now 17 weeks pregnant with a boy, wrote on her blog:
So it’s official. I’m pregnant. And I’m not certain how I feel about it. Sure, Pete and I have been married for almost a decade now with no kids to show for it, but 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. And the fact that this pregnancy puts a big hold on my weight-loss progress is disappointing. Add in the fact that I’ve had three unsuccessful pregnancies already and I’m sure you’ll understand why my stress-level is going through the roof. On the other hand I’ve always loved kids (okay, most kids) and encountering a baby in a store or a park will undoubtedly lead me to silly smiles and “baby talk”. I enjoy attending baby showers for my friends and family and look forward to the opportunity to spend time with my young nephews. I glance wistfully at mothers pushing baby strollers at the fair and continually decorate our nursery in my mind. I imagine what it would look like to see Pete holding our son or daughter in his arms and the goofy smile that it would bring to his face. All of this leads me to believe that maybe having a little one to cuddle and love wouldn’t be so bad…But this is where it starts. If I wasn’t pregnant there wouldn’t be a decision to be made, but I’ve definitely got one “on board” so I guess that we’ll just go from here....This pregnancy can go one of three ways: it continues and I give birth to a healthy baby, we decide to abort, or something goes wrong and I miscarry again. The only one we have any control over is a decision to abort, anything else is decided by God, fate, etc. So I will continue to document what is happening with my pregnancy and (hopefully) you all will continue to vote.
She adds:
My OBGYN informed me this morning that I still had a 50% chance of miscarrying and that this bleeding from the hematoma could continue throughout my pregnancy or it could clear up at some point in the future. So what did I get out of this day of firsts? I lost 4.5 hrs of my life to waiting for blood tests, an ultrasound, and a pelvic exam in the ER as well as a bunch of stress and the conviction that working out during this pregnancy is going to be an issue. So it’s kind of a catch 22…Working out creates endorphins and relieves stress, but if it causes trips to the ER the good benefits don’t outweigh the bad.
Can some please call DFYS on these people or is it too early/late? Or is this all one just sick prank?

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