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Anti-Abortion Ads and the Superbowl:What Do You Think?

Anti-Abortion Ads and the Superbowl:What Do You Think?

Despite a policy of prohibiting policy ads, even ones that carry an “implicit” endorsement for a side in a public debate CBS is set to air an anti-abortion ad staring former University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow.  Colorado-based Focus on the Family paid the nearly 3 million dollars for the 30-second spot. 

The preliminary script for the Tebow ad has Tebow and his mother describing a crisis in her pregnancy.  While on a mission trip in the Philippines Tebow’s mother Pam contracted an illness that ultimately left her in a coma and severely compromised her pregnancy with Tim.  Her doctors advised her to end her pregnancy and she refused.  According to Focus on the Family, the ad will tell that story and highlight a theme of “choosing life.”

Serious maternal illness can be a devastating result for otherwise healthy and viable pregnancies, and the fact that Tebow was born without complication is certainly a good outcome.  But the ad, and it’s explicit and implicit messaging, reveals a dishonestly in the evangelical anti-abortion movement that, if CBS plays the ad, they will become complicit in spreading.  That is, to celebrate the “choice” of life is to simultaneously celebrate the existence of a choice, not take it away. 

Just like Bristol Palin, one cannot celebrate their decision not to have an abortion while demonizing and seeking to criminalize the very existence of the ability to make that choice.  Pam Tebow made an informed decision after consultation with her physicians.  That ability, and the collective respect to trust her with such a decision, is the very thing Focus on the Family and the Tebows, and now CBS, hope to eradicate.

In the past CBS has rejected ads from groups such as MoveOn.org and PETA on the grounds that the proposed content was too controversial, but it is hard to imagine a topic more controversial than abortion.  So why take this ad and not one from United Church of Christ proclaiming their support for same-sex question.  That’s a good, reasonable question to ask and one that CBS has yet to answer.

Interestingly, many sports writers are not pleased with CBS’ decision, not necessarily because they are pro-choice, but because they don’t believe that a football game is the appropriate venue to air anti-abortion ads.  So far their complaints have fallen on deaf ears as well.

The Superbowl is the most-watched television program in the country and CBS is giving a vocally anti-gay, evangelical advocacy group access and ability to spread a misleading message concerning reproductive rights.  Since they wont explain the apparent shift in policy, women’s rights groups are demanding CBS pull the ad.  You can too.  Join the Care2 petition and send CBS a message that unless all advocacy groups have access to advertising slots, none should.

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photo courtesy of Open Sports via Flickr

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135 comments

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5:43PM PST on Nov 18, 2013

Thank you.

5:43PM PST on Nov 18, 2013

Thank you.

5:42PM PST on Nov 18, 2013

Thank you.

5:41PM PST on Nov 18, 2013

Thank you.

8:16AM PDT on May 9, 2013

CHRISTIANS SUPPORT LIFE & QB TIM TEBOW!

TIM: IT'S NOT YOU! IGNORE HATERS & SAVE U.S.A.
N.J.-N.Y. AMERICANS ARE LOSING THEIR MINDS.
N.J.-N.Y. NEED SOULS SAVED MORE THEN A "QB SAVIOR".
WORLD IN MIDST OF A WAR BETWEEN GOOD & EVIL.
I SURVIVED AND REPORTED N.J. "BIOCHIP TERRORISM".
SADLY MANY IN U.S.A. HAVE BEEN "BRAINWASHED"!

MY MISSION: SAVE U.S.A. FROM BIOCHIP TERRORISM.
I ASKED QB TIM TEBOW FOR HIS HELP TO SAVE U.S.A.

SAVE U.S.A. ***WARNING TO U.S.A.***
http://www.Pinterest.com/SAVEUSA

SAVE WORLD! BIOCHIP TERRORISM
http://www.Pinterest.com/SAVEWORLD

@MILLSSAVEUSA RICHARD MILLS
http://www.Twitter.com/MILLSSAVEUSA

5:15PM PST on Feb 23, 2010

Aside from the fact that you miscalculated your percentages, Amber S, your argument is not a bad one.

However, I disagree with the fact that the fetus is not a group of cells. Until it develops a nervous system, it is incapable of thinking or feeling pain... thus until then, a group of cells is all it really is.

Once the nervous system is partly developed, then the fetus is considered human, with its own rights. But until then, it really is "her body, her choice."

3:42AM PST on Feb 11, 2010

(continued) and as for population control, this all works in unison with the "wrap it up" theory. Like how lazy must one be? The best argument I have gotten to date is "adoption is so hard, so many kids in the system, etc." Adoption is not hard. It is pricey. However, there are hundreds of families on waiting lists. If you want to ensure that the child is homed at birth...crack open the book of families and choose one. Go from there. They are already pre-screened and ready to go. I personally know families who suffer with infertility. And they wait and wait. Once a mother chooses a family the success rate of the adoption process is almost 100%.

I will never bring religion into this debate, as I feel that morals, values, and ethics are more then sufficient here. You say "it is just a cluster of cells"....a "cluster of cells" that will indefinately become a human child. Therefore, does that not make it human? In turn, is termination not murder? "What if it means the mothers health?". Last I checked, we are a medically advanced society where this occurance is rare at best.

Justify it all you want. I see no credible argument defending this decision. And no, I do not deem "her body, her choice" viable. Why? Because when that test says "positive" it is also that childs life and body. We have no right to take that from anyone. That is what is cruel.

In conclusion: Abortion is a completely selfish act by a woman AND a man who could not make a responsible choice regarding

3:27AM PST on Feb 11, 2010

@ Anya: Hmmmm, I don't seem to see anything stating it is ok to torture animals. I did however notice that you did not seem to have much to go on in your argument. "What about women who are raped??" well, that can certainly be touch and go. However, there are ways to make a wrong done against you into a positive thing (Adoption). I will never say that being raped is ok, obviously. That would be mental. However, did you know that less then 1% of pregnancies occur due to rape or incest? That is pretty darn low. That tells me that 99.9% of unwanted pregnancies occur due to IRRESPONSIBLE CHOICES. You will have to pardon my lack of pity for someone who simply cannot take a moment to say "would you mind putting on a condom?" or perhaps go to the doctor and ask for birth control. Are we still lacking the mental capacity to do these things? Apparently yes. 50 million annual abortions says so. So, does it make me cruel to be honest and realistic about it, and ask that these women, oh, I don't know.....TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THIER CHOICES? I love our culture and our "it can't happen to me/blame someone else" attitude. You did the deed. Period. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. A pro and con if you will. By saying you are adult enough to lay down and have sex, you are saying your able to deal with any recourse as a result. Technically speaking. Unprotected sex=babies/STDs. This is not rocket science.

7:20AM PST on Feb 8, 2010

I suppose that you believe in forced sterilization and birth control to??? The commerical was no big deal why is everyone so defensive!

12:07PM PST on Feb 7, 2010

@Amber S. You know, sometimes it WASN'T a woman's choice to get pregnant. What if a woman got raped? That certainly wasn't her choice. What if a woman got raped AND the baby was a threat to the mother's health or life? What then?

Funny how people say how cruel abortion is when the tiny little cluster of cells can't even feel what's happening to it, and yet thousands upon THOUSANDS of sentient non-human animals get slaughtered every single day without a shadow of remorse. Animals that CAN feel pain. Why is it okay to slaughter one species and not another?

Besides, homo sapiens are THE most overpopulated species on the planet, and it's causing major problems. Maybe population control ISN'T such a horrible thing, ever think of that?

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