The conservative-troll husband in the "Birth Or Not" couple, told CNN they never planned to have an abortion. But this morning, his wife blogged that she wanted an abortion — and that the stunt has cost her her job.
The story has only gotten more twisted since word broke that Pete and Alisha Arnold were going to put the termination of their pregnancy to a vote. A long trail of Internet evidence linked Pete to anti-choice commentary, while Alisha was plainly miserable about the whole thing in interviews.
As the deadline the couple set — December 7, the last day Alisha can legally get an abortion in Minnesota — approaches, the media glare has cast serious doubts on their story. Sometimes they say they registered the site in May for an earlier pregnancy that ended in miscarriage; a recent CNN story says it was registered before Alisha was pregnant.
That CNN interview is in dispute too. It contains these passages:
"We chose our words very carefully," Arnold told CNN, insisting the site was not a hoax even though there were never any plans to accept the vote results if abortion won...."My intent is not to deceive people, but at the same point, I do want people to talk about this".
This morning, Alisha wrote on the blog in a post headlined "I Believe In Choice" that the couple's stance had been mischaracterized. She wrote that while her husband is anti-abortion, she had doubts about keeping the baby from the start, but has since decided to keep it. Her views, she wrote, have been obscured in all of this:
"I clearly stated this to the reporter at CNN but my opinion was not included in the article that was published...I'm the one that lost my job because of the media attention that this website has received and yet my opinions and statements seem to be discounted in favor of my husband's. Since I'm the one carrying the baby it seems to me that this is a terrible oversight on the part of responsible media professionals.
The local news report above confirms that she's lost her tech job, which an expert says is probably legal. Alisha also said that her husband's views on cars and global warming (expressed on his climate change denier site, and also as a Jalopnik commenter) were irrelevant: "When it comes to abortion I am the one that wears the pants in the decision because in the end it would be me going through the procedure."
You'll find no disagreement here with those points. But if Alisha's views on this debacle have been obscured, it's because in addition to lacking her husband's Internet record, she declined, at least in our interview and others we've seen, to answer substantive questions about her position, and let her husband do the talking. That may because she regretted agreeing to let strangers vote on the fate of her body.
In any case, anyone who is pro-choice would also support Alisha's choice to keep her baby, even though this fractious debate has gotten a little stupider because of their stunt — though luckily, few people fell for it from the start. While we're at it, we'd also support her choice to dump that jackass.