I got a heads up about the blog BirthorNot.com about a month ago.
A pregnant married couple is taking votes whether to abort their baby boy or carry him to term.
The last day of the pregnancy they say they can legally abort in their home state of Minnesota is December 9, a day before the baby is 20 weeks old. And, they say, they will go however the final vote tally goes.
Although the posts appeared plausible when I perused them, the concept had "scam" written all over it. So I didn't buy in. My thought was the couple was trying to punk pro-lifers.
In the last few days the blogosphere has gotten hold of the story, and I've received several emails to write about it. It appears Gawker started the chatter after interviewing the couple, Pete and Alisha Arnold.
The reaction has been most interesting. Pro-choicers think this is a scam against them. Now, while pro-lifers are becoming incensed and begging the couple not to abort, pro-choicers are becoming incensed and wanting the couple to be shot.
Reading more closely what the couple writes, I've come to agree this is a pro-life stunt. A pro-choicer, unless a real sicko, would not go into this sort of detail about the 16-week development of the baby she may abort:
... now approximately the size of an avocado with an average crown to rump measurement of 4.6 inches. This week bones are forming in baby’s ears so that they can start to pick up noises outside the womb. The hair, eyebrows, and lashes are filling in and taste buds are forming.
Pro-choice Amanda Marcotte noted the Arnolds purchased the domain name on May 17, 2010. This was well before Alisha got pregnant, which I estimate was August 4, according to my handy dandy pregnancy wheel.
The Arnolds told Gawker:
During the second pregnancy, the couple bought the birthornot.com domain, and were in the process of deciding whether to put the birth up to a vote when they lost the baby.
But on their website they say:
So the dates don't jibe. The couple said they purchased their domain before miscarrying their second baby but actually bought it the month afterward - when not at all pregnant. In other words, they planned this. This corroborates that this is a publicity stunt of some sort. I wouldn't get too emotionally involved. But I will be watching with interest to see how they play this out. Currently votes are running 81%-19% in favor of giving birth.
Meanwhile, the story has gone international.