BirthOrNot Couple Closes Abortion Vote, Checking for Fraud

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 29, 2010   |   1:20PM   |   Washington, DC

The couple behind the controversial BirthorNot web site, claiming to be taking a vote on whether or not to have an abortion, have closed the voting and will now check for fraud.

The final BirthorNot vote shows 77 percent, or more than 1.55 million votes, saying the couple should have an abortion while 22 percent, or about 448,000 votes, came in for giving birth to the baby.

In recent media interviews, husband Pete Arnold admitted the web site is a hoax and that the couple doesn’t intend to have an abortion. He earlier claimed the web site was legitimate.

But wife Alisha Arnold posted a response on the web site the next day bashing her husband for the remarks and saying the decision ultimately rested with her. She admitted the two differ on the issue of abortion and said she considered an abortion at the beginning of the pregnancy, but added “I don’t believe I could go through with an abortion now.”

In a new post announcing the closing of the vote, Alisha Arnold followed up on comments her husband made about the concern over potential fraud. The couple will send the vote to an independent firm to analyze the data and determine the accurate tally.

“With 2,008,039 votes, we have decided to close the vote.  We will be sending them off to a third party report wizard to have them analyzed and have the fraud removed,” Alisha wrote on Sunday.

She indicated each IP address will receive two votes, allowing for more than one vote per household, and those IPs with multiple votes will be reduced to two.

“We will be publishing the results as soon as we get them,” she promised.

The vote had been running largely in favor of the couple giving birth, but, after the worldwide publicity and condemnation from abortion advocates who considered the web site a pro-life publicity stunt, votes began moving in the pro-abortion direction. Some see the pro-abortion votes as a challenge to the couple to follow through with their promise to abide by the results and give birth or have an abortion depending on the whim of the public.

The reaction from the pro-life movement has ranged from an initial genuine concern about whether the couple was serious about potentially having an abortion to chiding the Arnolds about a poorly-thought out publicity stunt.

Some have said they hope the attention the couple and web site received would cause some people to rethink casual abortions and to understand the facts of fetal development and the humanity of the unborn child. The Arnolds frequently posted ultrasound photos and described in depth the development of the baby, who is a short time away from viability.