“For the first time, your vote on the topic of abortion can make a difference.” This is the statement at the top of a website: www.birthornot.com . It seemed a horrifying joke that parents-to-be would put the fate of their baby in the hands of the internet public. However it appears to be for real. A couple from Minnesota put up the site for their fourth pregnancy. It appears that there were two prior miscarriages recently and three pregnancies total. The website allowed a vote on whether to abort or give birth to the baby the couple named “Wiggles”. The vote was to stay open until December 7, two days before the December 9th deadline when an abortion could still be legally obtained in that state.
Over 2 million “votes” were cast. The poll closed as of November 28. This seems largely due to a website inundating the birthornot site with an abortion vote. As of the close of the vote, approximately 78% of the vote was for abortion with a mere 22% for birth. It seems many did not take it seriously or thought that a couple that would willingly ask the public to decide should not have a child. The results are supposedly being sent to a third party to verify and remove double and suspected fake votes. The site still promises that the results will be public.
Originally, there was an “out” clause listed on the site. However, since many people are questioning the legitimacy of the poll, it seems to have been removed. The husband’s mother was quoted as saying they would have the right to veto it, just like the president. There has been much web discussion on the real intention of the site. Many refer to the fact that the father has been on other websites appearing to be conservative and right-wing.
The site follows a “He Said”/”She Said” format in a sort of online journal describing the pregnancy. If read from the beginning (oldest posts), the fear of continuing the pregnancy is evident. The last miscarriage was fairly recent. The miscarriages showed genetic issues. Some of the posts sound selfish and probably should have been considered before getting pregnant. Many of the posts contain facts about Baby Wiggles size or ultrasound pictures.
The couple has received numerous comments on each post. Several seem very negative and hateful. The couple refers to receiving personal e-mail through the site that has been more positive. They have had several offers to adopt if the poll ends up abortion. There has been lots of media regarding the site. It appears the wife lost her job, mainly due to the controversy of the site. This is probably an unexpected casualty in a war already appearing winless.
While the method may be completely unorthodox, it does seem to get people conversing about pro-life/pro-choice. A pro-choice person who would not think of purposely looking at an ultrasound has received exposure to the fact that Baby Wiggles LOOKS like a baby. This is a poll that if this child is brought to term, will eventually recognize the uproar regarding his/her life. While the fate of Baby Wiggles is being decided somewhere in a statistical formula, we can pray for that little life and the thousands of other little lives that are not even being polled.
Psalm 139:13-16 (NIV) 13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.