A couple who set up a website to let the public decide whether or not they should abort their baby, have revealed the story was a hoax.
Peter and Alisha Arnold created a web-based poll to allow the public to decide whether or not they should keep the baby Mrs Arnold was carrying.
Two million people were said to have cast their vote, with 77 per cent saying the couple should abort the child. Mr Arnold later said this initial result was not accurate as 1.5 million of the votes proved to be fraudulent. Once these votes were taken out, the figures showed that 73 per cent of votes cast were actually in favour of Alisha keeping the baby.
The Arnolds have now revealed they never had any intention of aborting their baby, and had set up the poll as a 'vital civil experiment'.
Mrs Arnold said: 'In our poll we asked people to vote on the outcome of one potential life, but at every government election the population votes for officials that make decisions that affect thousands, if not millions of people, often in a life-changing way.
'This vote has also taught me that you can be for a woman's right to choose but that doesn't make you anti-life (as the name 'pro-life' would lead people to believe). Just like being 'pro-life' doesn't automatically make you anti-choice, the two ideas aren't mutually exclusive. The titles themselves actually distract from the actual topic which is whether or not abortion should be legal and although I am firmly in the liberal camp on the issue of legal abortion in the U.S., I discourage women from using abortion as a repeated form of birth control.'
The couple - who have suffered three miscarriages in their attempts to start a family - said they were 'anxious' about being first time parents in their thirties. Their unborn child is now at 17 weeks gestation and is developing well.
In a blog post, Mr Arnold said he hoped the poll made people question the term 'pro-life':
'The labels 'pro-choice' and 'pro-life' do nothing but confuse people and divert the conversation away from what the actual topic is: abortion. This website and the vote behind it was started due to our initial uncertainty with our current pregnancy. We had two miscarriages before this pregnancy. One of them ended with a trip to the hospital and Alisha being induced to give birth to a baby whose heart had stopped beating three weeks prior. The second miscarriage actually happened during our trip to France. We started this website in hopes to have a discussion with people in regards to our situation and to ask others to vote on what they think we should do based on the information.'
Read our previous story on the Arnolds and their bizarre website here.
What do you think about this story?
Were the Arnolds raising a serious issue, or was this just an attention seeking prank?