I apologise for being exactly what I claim to be

Birthornot.com is purportedly a website on which a pro-choice couple are conducting a massive civics social experiment by getting people to vote on whether or not they should have an abortion.

You will be as stunned as I, dear readers, to know that it’s probably a gigantic prolife hoax. (H/T Kate Harding on Twitter).

But I think something pretty important needs to be stated about this:

It doesn’t matter.

Yes, I pretty much wrote off the site as a frankly dull prolife piece of flamebait as soon as I saw it, but the fact is that even ignoring that, the “poll” made no damn sense to me.

Because I am pro-choice.

No, seriously.

I’m pro-choice.




The entire point of a “trap” like birthornot.com only works if you assume that prochoicers are lying about being prochoice.  It can only be sprung if you get an upswelling of people saying “I support your choice, so go vacuum that baby right out!”

(Alternatively, it works if prochoicers just ignore it, prolifers spam it and then the “mainstream media” report the results as showing that the majority of people really are prolife, honest they are, yay internet polls are so valid.*)

Unfortunately for the prolifers, that’s not actually how prochoice-ism works.  (And also, how you didn’t foresee that 4chan would explode with trollish glee as soon as they got wind of it escapes me.)

I know, I know.  I get that you’ve got an entire mythology built up around how pro-choicers are just callous baby-hating bitches, how we put no value on pre-birth human life and want every pregnancy to end in a D&C, how we’re the actual woman-haters and if a woman professes any anxiety about a pregnancy we think she should be forced to abort for her own good … but it’s just not so.

I couldn’t tick a box in Pete and Alisha Arnold’s little troll-poll because I am not Alisha Arnold.**  Even with all the handily-provided details about their life, I cannot know how she feels, what she wants, how she’ll prioritise different considerations.  Having never been in the position, I barely know what I would do in similar circumstances.

Whatever the circumstances, the only thing I support unequivocally is that a pregnant person be able to choose what to do about their pregnancy (and about their fertility and sex life before/during/after pregnancy).

That means having access to abortion to end it, and having access to whatever medical care is necessary to get through it, and having medical and economic and social support after an abortion or after a birth, and a whole shit-tonne of basic support systems to undercut and mitigate the sheer volume of disadvantage and stigma and social pressure around pregnancy and childbirth that’s put on all women and all people capable of getting pregnant.

Because I’m pro-choice.  And that’s exactly what it says on the label.


*Sorry to break it to you, NZHerald.

**I’ll give you this one, prolifers; I don’t think Pete’s views enter into the issue.  Because either he’s in line with Alisha’s choices, which is irrelevant, or he’s against Alisha’s choices, which is too bad for him.


  1. KushielsMoon

    As a prochoicer, I haven’t even gone to their website. What ever they choose, its not up to me.

  2. Boganette

    Great post. It’s such an obvious anti-choice fail. They cannot grasp that pro-choice does not mean pro-abortion. They live in a fantasy world where we all celebrate abortions and sacrifice foetuses to the devil. Frankly I think it’s revolting that if they are indeed pregnant they’re using their pregnancy their anti-choice agenda. I would hate to have such fucked up parents.

    But it REALLY FUCKING SHITS ME that shitty media outlets are reporting the story as fact. Yesterday I wrote half a dozen comments on the news.com.au story stating why the story is a hoax. A quick Google search is all it takes to show this couple are anti-choice and that this site could not possibly be what it says it is. But News didn’t publish any of my comments and on Twitter, two other friends said their comments about it being a hoax were rejected too. The whole purpose of the story was to print anti-choice rhetoric on news.com.au. Grrr it makes me so angry. Journalists are just not even bothering to do their jobs. It’s trollbait disguised as news.

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