Pete and Alisha Arnold have gone on the record saying their website poll asking whether Alisha should have an abortion is not a hoax. Update: It's looking like anti-abortion advocacy. More after the jump.
But while the Apple Valley couple are interested in what voters have to say, that doesn't mean they're going to pay any attention when push comes to shove for the fetus they call "Wiggles."[jump]
The poll asks: "Should we give birth or have an abortion?" This morning, voters leaned heavily in favor of Alisha carrying her baby to term.
Sandi Arnold, Pete's mother, was at the couple's home yesterday when the Pioneer Press came calling. She says they're serious -- with a caveat.
"They said they have the right to veto, just like the president."
The haunting proposition that such an incredibly personal and difficult decision might be left to the whims of faceless voters on the Internet is raising skeptical eyebrows all over the country.
Even Gawker, which first interviewed the Arnolds, doubted their story. It suspected them of being publicity hounds, ironically while giving them boatloads of free publicity.
We're skeptical, too. The Arnolds anonymously registered their birthornot.com domain name in May, yet Alisha didn't become pregnant until September, and the Arnolds say the pregnancy was not planned. Why register the site four months before an unplanned pregnancy?
Given that abortion is such a hot-button political issue, questions -- and outrage -- have flown thick and fast over birthornot.com. Are the authors secretly carrying water for abortion rights activists or opponents? Alisha Arnold denies anything of the sort in the Pioneer Press story.
"I didn't think it would go anywhere," Alisha Arnold said. "There are so many websites out there."
Update: Leftie Minnesota blogger Jeff Fecke calls bullshit:
Pierre "Pete" Arnold III also used to be a "researcher, contributor, and part time producer for the Race to the Right radio show in St Cloud." He blogged at Always Right, Usually Correct, which had a hard anti-choice bent. He used the aliases "The Pete" and "Zeeboid" -- indeed, the latter is both a domain he owns and the userid for his gmail account -- but it's not that hard to track down. He operates (or used to operate) a site called "The Church of Global Warming."
The Race to the Right wiki site describes "ThePete" as politically a conservative Republican -- and features a photo of Arnold getting his Star Trek on. On the Always Right, Usually Correct site you can also find links to his many other blogs. Here's a sense of where the site stands on abortion:
- 9/11/06 Awareness found in Vegatative Patients
- 7/19/06 Distortion on stem cell bill...and a little help needed
- 7/12/06 Conflicting logic about babies
- 6/6/06 Leftie blames Bush for her abortion
- 4/13/06 Pull her plug
- 2/2/06 Private ownership threatened again
- 10/19/05 Abortion called Birth Control
- 8/3/05 Brain dead delivers baby
- 6/15/05 Teen takes one shot that will last a lifetime
- 5/4/2005 Brain patient speaks again
- 4/12/2005 St. Cloud Times gets Schiavo case wrong
- 4/8/2005 See, I told you the slippery slope would continue
- 3/31/2005 Brain-Damaged Child's Family Mulls Life And Death
- 3/23/2005 Next time we hear about the children starving to death
- 3/22/2005 Right-to-die advocate nails Schiavo's national implication
- 3/21/2005 Mercy Killing of Newborns Being Advocated
- 3/17/2005 This is Not Right-to-Die
- 3/17/2005 Abortion done 'in good faith'
In various postings on the birthornot site, Pete and Alisha say that after two miscarriages, "Wiggles" came along sooner than they anticipated and they have serious misgivings about the timing. They say they launched the site to share their concerns, share updates and post ultrasound images of the pregnancy's progress.
Alisha says the last day she can legally terminate her pregnancy is Dec. 9. The poll closes Dec. 7.
The Birthornot Files: