The couple in the middle of a controversial abortion website keeps extending their time in the spotlight. On Tuesday, CNN published a story saying that the creators of birthornot.com, where readers can vote on whether the couple should have an abortion, admitted the poll was a fake. But now the wife is denying that report.
The couple, Pete and Alisha Arnold, allegedly admitted to CNN on Tuesday that they were never going to get an abortion despite the poll's results. Instead, the site was setup to raise awareness about the issue and give people a chance to share their thoughts.
Pete, a libertarian, told CNN that he bought the website domain well before his wife, who is pro-choice, got pregnant, adding that he had been considering the idea "for some time." Despite the admission, however, Pete told CNN the site is not a hoax.
"My intent is not to deceive people, but at the same point, I do want people to talk about this," he told CNN. "This seemed like a pretty good way to further the discussion, because people don't ever seem to want to talk about it for real if there's no name on it, no Baby Wiggles." The couple intentionally named the unborn baby boy "Wiggles" in order to give people more to think about.
"We chose our words very carefully."
Maybe not carefully enough. Almost immediately after the original story broke, some began noticing Pete's conservative, anti-abortion postings on the internet. He usually posts under the name "Zeeboid," which CNN notes is also the name on his vanity license plates. And CNN also noticed another inconsistency: while on Friday Pete said he has made $40 off the site and invested $215, by this week those numbers had grown to $500 and $225.
But the biggest inconsistency may be between Pete and Alisha's statements. In a posting on the couple's site, Alisha says CNN's claim that the couple admitted the site is fake is "simply not true."
"My husband may wish that that was the case, but our early disagreement about this pregnancy is what lead us to start the website in the first place," Alisha writes. "I clearly stated this to the reporter at CNN but my opinion was not included in the article that was published."
The rest of the post reads like a marriage argument, with Alisha offering her views on abortion and how they differ from Pete's.
"Pete and I are on different ends of the spectrum when it comes to our beliefs about abortion," she says. "I’m sure I will receive considerable harassment about this post, but to me until the baby can survive without the mother (otherwise known as viability) it is not a feasible life."
At one point she even snips that she "wears the pants" when it comes to the abortion decision: "In the end it would be me going through the procedure."
She continues: "Even though my husband’s opinion and beliefs matter to me, I, as the one carrying the baby have the final say about my body and our unborn child."
And although she admits she is "cautious" about becoming attached, she says she feels more "optimistic about moving forward." However it is unclear if "moving forward" refers to an abortion or birth.
Currently, the "have an abortion" votes far outweigh the "give birth" ones. 74.52 percent, or 1,496,366 people, want Alisha to abort, while only 25.48 percent, or 381,286, want her to give birth.
Alisha Arnold has been fired from her job because of the website. KTSP reports:
Her company, Eagan software firm, "TempWorks", terminated Alisha's employment with a company-wide memo. 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS obtained the memo which says Alisha's conduct is a grave threat to the reputation of the company.
We showed the memo to a University of Minnesota Labor Law Professor. William McGeveran told us private companies do not have a legal obligation to protect the free speech of its employees. He also says employees might not like it, but the company can also tell its employees who they can and cannot be friends with on Facebook and other social networking sites. If employees do not like the restrictions, McGeveran says they have the option of leaving the job.