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Website takes votes on whether woman should get abortion

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN
The site, called birthornot.com, asks readers to take a poll that asks "Should we give birth or have an abortion?"
The site, called birthornot.com, asks readers to take a poll that asks "Should we give birth or have an abortion?"
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Woman e-mails CNN a sonogram of her fetus
  • Minnesota couple say they are behind the blog
  • "Why not vote on whether to continue or abort an actual pregnancy?" the site asks
  • Website is making some money through Google ads

(CNN) -- A website run by a Minnesota couple that is polling readers on whether the pair should abort the wife's fetus was generating plenty of votes -- along with controversy -- on Friday.

The site, called birthornot.com, asks readers to take a poll that asks "Should we give birth or have an abortion?"

"Voting is such an integral part of the American identity," the blog, run by an Apple Valley, Minnesota, couple, says. "Why not vote on whether to continue or abort an actual pregnancy? Your vote can help a real couple to make a decision on this issue."

"We would like to keep you informed on our pregnancy as if it was your own; posting our thoughts and feelings as we struggle to make this decision," the post continues.

In a Facebook response to a question from CNN, Alisha Arnold said Friday that her blog is "authentic." The site claims she has had two miscarriages this year.

"It's not a hoax -- that's for sure," Pete Arnold, Alisha's husband, told CNN in a phone interview Friday in response to a question about whether the blog is a hoax. "We put a lot of time into this before posting."

Alisha Arnold e-mailed CNN a sonogram Friday that is dated November 10, has her name on it and shows a fetus.

Arnold said Friday that he would supply CNN with an ultrasound image with Alisha's name on it or other medical documentation of the pregnancy but that he was in transit and not able to do so immediately.

The website is making money through Google ads. Pete Arnold said Friday that he has made about $40 off the ads so far and has spent about $215 for web hosting.

The Arnolds will collect votes until December 7, two days before the last day Alisha could legally get an abortion, the blog says.

The first post on the site, entitled "She's Pregnant," is dated September 28.

It's not a hoax -- that's for sure. We put a lot of time into this before posting.
--Pete Arnold, Alisha's husband
RELATED TOPICS
  • Abortion
  • Internet

The blog features what purport to be ultrasound images of Alisha Arnold's fetus, which it says is 16 weeks old.

On Thursday, the site began attracting widespread news media attention, including from international outlets, driving up traffic and comments.

Pete Arnold said the blog registered more than 100,000 page views Thursday, after getting a few dozen hits a day since it was launched.

"Of course you have a right to do this, as it's a free country, but I find it very distasteful that you would allow people to vote as to whether you give birth to your baby or not," one commenter wrote on Thursday. "It's a baby!! It's a human being!!"

Some abortion rights supporters also criticized the site.

"This website gives the impression that making this profoundly personal decision is akin to voting on a reality TV show," said Ted Miller, spokesperson for NARAL Pro-Choice America, in a statement. "It is an insult to women and couples who have struggled with making this decision. Most people will dismiss this site as a sad attempt to get attention."

More than 116,000 votes had been cast on the site by early Friday evening. Roughly 81 percent encouraged Alisha Arnold to give birth, while about 19 percent urged her to get an abortion.

CNN's Michael Cary, Jackie Castillo and Ted Rowlands contributed to this report.

 
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