Recently, a friend showed me a website, birthornot.com, created by a Minnesota couple, Pete and Alisha. Pete and Alisha have been married for about 8 years, and are expecting a child. On their site, they post news about their pregnancy, including updates on doctor visits and current ultrasound photos. This site is also a poll in which web-users can vote on whether Pete and Alisha should keep or abort their unborn child.
With recent moral dilemma column, Morals to Your Story, in mind, I found I had a lot to say about birthornot.com. I know there are two sides to every argument, but I am trying hard and failing to find any way that this is not immoral. To Pete and Alisha, I have a few things to say.
Does it not strike you as odd that your means for making this decision are the same that one would use if they wanted to know if people like Katy Perry or Lady Gaga better. In fact, a poll about favorite movie stars under 25 pops up on your very site! It’s just as easy to vote for Emma Watson as it is to vote on the life or death of your baby. It should be obvious that the gravity of these two decisions is in no way comparable.
I don’t think I need to bring up that your baby is already alive, and therefore, you are leaving perfect strangers to sentence him or her to death. Such anti-abortion arguments are significant, but not what is truly immoral about this whole situation. Whether or not to abort your baby is your decision; it is a huge decision, but it is yours to make. Letting the general public make this decision for you just shows that you really don’t care whether or not your baby is born. You don’t have to be pro-life to see what is wrong here.
One of the most unsettling parts of this is that, should you decide to keep your baby, you will undoubtedly make terrible parents. I don’t see how you could go from being indifferent towards the existence of your baby, to loving, caring parents. Would you tell your child about this poll? That you didn’t want or care enough about he or she that you let the decision up to the opinions of strangers? If the thought of telling your child that fact seems inconceivable, then clearly, so is everything you’re doing here.
What I can’t fathom is that in your bio, you write about an unsuccessful, unplanned pregnancy about 10 years ago, and two unsuccessful, planned pregnancies earlier this year. This tells me that you not only did at one point want children, but only a few months ago! I’m not sure what changed, but after three failed pregnancies, I can’t believe you could consider terminating a fourth, potentially healthy baby. Having a baby is one of the biggest blessings one can receive, and you do not deserve it.
When the deadline for voting (the last day that Pete and Alisha can legally abort their baby) approached, the poll read a majority of 73.79% of voters favored giving birth with over 275,000 total votes. Among these voters, many have left comments, several hateful, condemning this site and the decision at stake, and for good reason. Pete even posted a reply saying that approximately 6% of the messages they receive are people offering to personally adopt their unwanted baby. Again, I don’t understand how, among all this criticism, they can still go through with this poll, leaving such an important decision up to anyone with internet access.
My last issue with this site pertains the quote at the top of the homepage. It reads, “you can vote and choose whether we abort or keep our unborn child. For the first time, your vote on the topic of abortion can make a difference.” The controversy on the topic of abortion has two sides, pro-life and pro-choice. Pro-life supporters believe that abortion is murder and should be entirely illegal. Pro-choice supporters believe it is up to the mother to decide what to do with her baby, be it abortion or not. A common and important misconception is that pro-choice is synonymous with pro-abortion.
When Pete, a self-proclaimed pro-life supporter, and Alisha say “your vote on the topic of abortion can make a difference” they don’t realize they are not leaving the voting up to the pro-life/pro-choice debate; it is simply a life/death debate. Furthermore, pro-choice implies that the decision is up to the parents of the unborn baby, whereas this site is built around the indecision of these parents. Therefore, I’m not sure who is in support of their abortion, because as far as I can see, it is not consistent with pro-life or pro-choice standards. So, by letting others “make a difference” with their vote, you’re just letting uneducated people choose to end your baby’s life.
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