Pro-Life, Pro-Abortion Groups Clash on Tim Tebow Super Bowl Ad, Lobby CBS
by Steven Ertelt
January 27, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The controversy over the coming Super Bowl ad from Focus on the Family about pro-life University of Florida football star Tim Tebow is generating as much, if not more, attention than it will when it runs before and during the championship game.
Now, pro-abortion and pro-life groups are clashing on the ad with both sides lobbying CBS to allow or disallow the commercial.
LifeNews.com has reported on the ad several times and it will likely feature the story of how Tebow’s mom refused an abortion.
The New York-based Women’s Media Center has coordinated an attack on the ad — launching a campaign with the pro-abortion National Organization for Women, the Feminist Majority and other groups to persuade CBS not to run it.
Today, in an email to its supporters that LifeNews.com obtained, NARAL is also urging its members to lobby CBS and, surprisingly, used the term "pro-life" to refer to it.
"CBS has cleared the way to subject nearly 100 million people to Focus on the Family’s extreme agenda by agreeing to air its new pro-life ad during the Super Bowl," the group’s president Nancy Kenen said.
"Focus on the Family has an unmistakable anti-choice … agenda," Keenan continued. "If that isn’t bad enough, its views on women are just plain insulting and dangerous."
NARAL cited as an example its referring women to pregnancy centers to find abortion alternatives and tangible help and assistance during pregnancy.
"We can’t just sit by while CBS lets Focus on the Family place a political ad during the Super Bowl, when millions of people are watching ads," Keenan said. "Ask CBS to drop the ad and stick with its original ‘no advocacy in advertising’ policy."
Penny Nance, CEO of Concerned Women for America, a pro-life women’s group, has a different take.
"NOW’s outcry over Tebow’s pro-life ad is nothing less than hypocritical. Where were they when CBS has aired programs like Dexter, in which the protagonist is a serial killer?" she asked.
"I find it laughable that NOW has a problem with Tim Tebow sharing his own story. If NOW really cared about women they would stop flacking for the abortion industry and start working on behalf of women and resolving our concerns about real problems such as sexually exploitative and violent content on television," she told LifeNews.com.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, the head of the Susan B. Anthony List, another pro-life women’s group, also weighed in on the debate.
"NOW and company are losing their grip as their pro- abortion position sinks in public opinion," she said.
"What is real here is their desperation to keep full information from women," Dannenfelser continued. "Shouldn’t the ‘pro-choice’ position respect Pam Tebow’s decision to choose Life?"
"What is the worst case scenario in allowing the ad to air? Women are exposed to an example of sacrifice for the sake of an unborn child. NOW needs to explain where the harm and threat to women and children is here," she told LifeNews.com.
In an interview with reporters on Sunday, Tebow defended the ad.
"I know some people won’t agree with it, but I think they can at least respect that I stand up for what I believe," Tebow said. "I’ve always been very convicted of it (his views on abortion) because that’s the reason I’m here, because my mom was a very courageous woman. So any way that I could help, I would do it."
The Super Bowl ad would be costly — as a spot during the game and three 30-second commercials before it would reportedly run about $2-3 million — but provides a unique exposure to a large national and international audience.
The ad could feature the story of Tebow’s birth.
Pam Tebow and her husband were Christian missionaries in the Philippines in 1985 and they prayed for "Timmy" before she became pregnant.
Unfortunately, Pam entered into a coma after she contracted amoebic dysentery, an infection of the intestine caused by a parasite found in a contaminated food or drink. The treatment for the medical condition would require strong medications that doctors told Pam had caused irreversible damage to Tim — so they advised her to have an abortion.
Tebow refused the abortion and cited her Christian faith as the reason for her hope that her son would be born without the devastating disabilities physicians predicted. She ultimately spent the last two months of her pregnancy in bed and, eventually, gave birth to a health baby boy in August 1987.
Tim Tebow would win the Heisman in 2007 and then lead the Florida Gators football team to the national championship a year later and he is likely a top draft pick for 2010.
Whether CBS would allow the potential Focus pro-life ad to air was a question when news of the ad first came up earlier this month.
Last year, NBC rejected a television commercial the pro-life Catholic group Fidelis and its CatholicVote web site hoped to run.
The ad showed a beautiful picture of an unborn child during an ultrasound and asks what would happen if President Barack Obama had been a victim of abortion.
After several days of negotiations, an NBC representative in Chicago told the group that NBC and the NFL are not interested in advertisements involving "political advocacy or issues."
ACTION: Support the Focus on the Family ad by contacting Sean J. McManus, President CBS News and Sports, at [email protected] or 212-975-4321
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