You know how sometimes asking a question leads to an answer you might not be ready for? Well, such is the case with Pete and Alisha Arnold, a couple from Minneapolis who have decided to ask anonymous strangers (i.e. the internet masses) if they should abort their child.
That's right, by logging on to birthornot.com and clicking the obnoxious widget pictured left, you, the hoarder down the street, and millions of angry, volatile people can hold the life of the Arnolds' unborn child in your very own hands! After that, Potential Mom and Dad will have a talk and decide if the angry masses win or lose. In an interview with Gawker, Pete lays out this winner of deductive reasoning, "Voting is such an important part of who we are as a people. Here's a chance where people can be heard about whether they are pro-choice or whether they are pro-life, and it makes a difference in the real world."
Wow, Pete. You just, like, blew my mind. Or took Sociology 101 to the stupidest of all possible frontiers.
So what makes this experience all the more gripping? Details, people, it's all in the details. Apparently, Alisha has had two pregnancies that have ended in miscarriage over the last year and a half. She has also posted the following about a child she's thinking of aborting because a bunch of strangers told her to: "At my 16 week OB check they did another ultrasound and baby's development is still on target. Lots of fetal movement and the hematoma was smaller once again. Baby "Wiggles" heartbeat was at 164 bpm and I got to hear it on the dop tone as well. The nurse even informed me how the staticky crunch noises that I hear are the baby's movements."
Smell a hoax here? Yeah, well, so do I, although whether it's designed to incite instant fame or debate over national policy is not exactly clear. While I can't help but think that Alisha including all the details about a real, live baby facing a death you alone can save it from is a manipulation designed to "expose" the wrongness of pro-choice thinking, Alisha identifies herself as pro-choice. Also, as Gawker points out, if that's the Arnolds' point, their logic is flawed: "The vast majority of people who are pro-choice aren't pro-abortion, so it wouldn't figure that they would automatically vote for the abortion option. The only people who would probably vote for the abortion are trolls who want to piss off pro-lifers."
Which brings me back to my final, somewhat disgusted point: If you have to ask the question, be prepared for an answer you might not be ready for. If you are really asking anonymous masses to decide whether or not your baby should live, you aren't fit to be parents in any way. If you're cool with using your fetus as a pawn for national debate, or a ticket to instant fame, you aren't fit to be parents in any way. If comparing what is a very hard choice for many families to your sad, clicky sideshow seems like a viable way to operate in the world, you are not fit to be parents in any way. A stunt like this isn't worthy of national debate, no matter which side of the abortion issue you are on. Should the Arnolds get an abortion? That's up to them, ultimately. But I'm pretty darn sure no child should be left their custody.