National News

Couple posts online vote: abort or have baby?

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Minnesota woman is putting the life of her unborn baby up for vote. She and her husband have posted a poll on a website asking people to vote on whether she should have an abortion.

Alisha Arnold of Apple Valley, Minnesota is 17 weeks pregnant. After suffering three miscarriages she says she and her husband are unsure if they're emotionally prepared to have a child. So now they're turning to the public to help them make their decision. Their online abortion vote is not without controversy.

In September, Alisha and Pete Arnold put their unborn baby's life up for a vote. Their website asks you to cast your ballot for or against an abortion.

"We really wanted to be able to let people voice their opinions," said Alisha.

Online skeptics accuse the couple of a publicity stunt with a hidden agenda.

"I would say our only agenda is just getting people's votes and their opinions," said Alisha.

Alisha says the pain of three miscarriages led her down the path of considering an abortion. Then she admitted how emotional it was for her to see her baby's ultrasound.

"When I see the pictures, I do connect," said Alisha. "I think it's kind of natural as an expecting mother to feel emotion towards your unborn child."

Planned Parenthood has declined to weigh in on this, but one anti-abortion group is speaking out.

"If the baby is allowed to be born, the situation of, his life will be always knowing that his mom put him up to a vote," said Scott Fischbach, Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life.

Alisha says it's not a decisive vote.

"We are taking everyone's opinion into consideration, but in the end, kind of like the president, we reserve veto power," said Alisha.

Alisha and her husband are both computer software trainers. Their website, Birthornot.com, has, to date, received more than 118,000 votes, and 81 percent say "give birth"; 19 percent say "have an abortion."

According to the website, Dec. 9 is the last day Alisha could legally get an abortion in the state of Minnesota.

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