Saturday, January 30, 2010

Superbowl to Be Abortion Rights Battleground

Ah, yes ... the Superbowl.  Now, I'm not a sports fan; but, I do attend Superbowl parties like everyone else.  I'm not really all that interested in the sport or game itself, but I do enjoy getting together with people, consuming huge quantities of deliciously unhealthy food, and watch the commercials.  I revel in how noisy the room can be during the game, but the moment one of the SUPERBOWL COMMERCIALS comes on, the room instantly falls silent as everyone rivets their attention to the screen.

Judging from news reports these past few days, it appears that one of commercials will turn the Superbowl into an ideological, religious, and human rights battle ground.  Focus on the Family and football hero Tim Tebow have produced and plan to air a commercial that tells the story of his mother Pam who chose to deliver her son despite being counseled to abort him.  NOW (The National Organization of Women) and other feminist groups are on the attack.

Here's the story from FoxNews:

The 30-second spot, paid for by the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family, is expected to recount the story of Pam Tebow's turbulent pregnancy in 1987:

When Tebow suffered from a dangerous infection during a mission trip to the Philippines, doctors recommended that she terminate her pregnancy, fearing she might die in childbirth. But she carried Tim to term, and he went on to win the 2007 Heisman Trophy and guide the Florida Gators to two BCS championships.

It's a happy story with an inspirational ending, but pro-choice critics say Focus on the Family should not be allowed to air the commercial because it advocates on behalf of a divisive issue and threatens to "throw women under the bus."
"This organization is extremely intolerant and divisive and pushing an un-American agenda," said Jehmu Greene, director of the Women's Media Center, which is coordinating a campaign to force CBS to pull the ad before it airs on Feb. 7.

"Abortion is very controversial, and the anti-abortion vitriol has resulted in escalated violence against reproductive health providers and their patients," Greene said. "We've seen that clearly with the murder of Dr. George Tiller," the late-term abortion provider who was gunned down in his Kansas church in May 2009.

But Gary Schneeberger, a spokesman for Focus on the Family, defended the ad and said it will stand out on Super Bowl Sunday because its content is original and family-friendly.

"We're not trying to sell folks a big-screen TV, we're not trying to sell them a soft drink, we're not trying to sell them a Web domain name. We're not trying to sell anything — we're celebrating families," he told

"Some people will be surprised when they see the actual content of the ad. It's anything but the way it's been described with that fiery rhetoric."
Attacks on the ad, which has been seen by only a handful of people, are mounting. The Women's Media Center is coordinating a campaign with the National Organization for Women and other women's groups to launch an online petition and letter-writing campaign targeting CBS. Another petition set up on Jan. 22 has garnered over 8,000 signatures.

So has the fearless Gator bitten off more than he can chew? Tebow addressed the controversy while chatting with reporters in Alabama on Sunday, explaining his opposition to abortion.

"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," he said. "[T]hat'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."
Two interesting points in the news story caught my eye:
1)  The notion that the ad could add to the an already vitriolic atmosphere, referring to the murder of Dr. Tiller.  Coincidentally, Tiller's murderer was convicted yesterday and sentenced to life in prison.

2)  Schneeberger discussed what FOF is not selling the public, compared to other ads viewers typically see.  This made me think of the Superbowl ads we've seen in the past.  I wonder if NOW campaigned against some of those, such as the Go Daddy ads that were hypersexual with overtones of lesbianism ... purely for the titillation of male viewers.

The above article mentioned The Women's Media Center's letter-writing campaign.  Here's more about the letter the WMC sent CBS from USAPlayers (dated Jan. 26th):

"By offering one of the most coveted advertising spots of the year to an anti-equality, anti-choice, homophobic organization, CBS is aligning itself with a political stance that will damage its reputation, alienate viewers, and discourage consumers from supporting its shows and advertisers," the letter claimed.

As of now, CBS plans to move forward, and run the ad as scheduled on Super Bowl Sunday, February 7th.

Gregg Doyel, a columnist for said that his objection to the ad is base on timing, not the message.

"If you're a sports fan, and I am, that's the holiest day of the year." he wrote in his column. "It's not a day to discuss abortion. For it, against it, I don't care what you are. On Super Sunday, I don't care what I am. Feb. 7 is simply not the day to have that discussion."
So, Doyel doesn't like the idea of the ad possibly pushing families to discuss abortion ... would that be as bad as a few years ago when Janet Jackson's breast "accidentally" popped out of her costume during her infamous half-time performance?   Odd and sad, too, how Doyel describes Superbowl Sunday as the "holiest" day of the year.

I went to NOW's website to see the organization's presentation of their side of the controversy.   It's "Say it, Sister!" blog for equality calls for an attack on FOF:

Make no mistake about this ad: it's offensive to women. Yes, it features Heisman trophy winner Tim Tebow and his mother, who had been advised to have an abortion after a serious illness. Standing alone, it sends the message that all women who give birth are heroes; it sends a message that abortion is always a mistake; and it is insulting to the one in three women in this country who have abortions.
"One in three" ... I had heard of that statistic before -- that one in three pregnancies end in abortion.  I have frequently wondered if that were true and still a current number.  Well, that's now been confirmed by NOW itself!  The reference almost appears as a "bragging point."

I found the comments that followed the post interesting.  Many readers left comments supporting FOF's right to free speech and reminding NOW that "pro-choice" includes choosing to not abort.  At least NOW has the guts to let those conflicting opinions remain on its site.

I wish more members of the public would catch on to the hypocrisy of NOW and abortion rights activists: that "pro-choice" to them obviously only means "pro-abortion."  Should a woman choose to give birth, her decision is frequently followed with scorn and derision.

For years I have criticized NOW for having concentrated its efforts solely on abortion and gay rights.  This is quite evident when you look at NOW's website, where it calls for getting abortion funding into the health care bill while deleting "abstinence-only" sex ed courses, celebrating 37 years of Roe v. Wade, as well as claiming that abortion is a "human right!"  I don't recall them ever voicing opposition to the objectification of women in the "entertainment" and marketing industries.  If anything, they seem to applaud using a woman's sexuality as her source of "power" ... whatever that is.  

But, I guess that's OK with NOW and other feminist groups: If, in the exercise of that sexual "power" a woman should become pregnant, pro-abortion groups stand at the ready to help her terminate that life.  No questions asked.  No alternatives offered.

FoxNews' Marjorie Dannenfelser offers a similar criticism in her article "Why Is NOW So Afraid Pro-Life, Pro-Family Ad?":
Could you imagine anything more ironic? The organization that purports to embrace women and “choice” is desperately clamoring to shut down the most loving choice of all: the choice for life. Yet the women of NOW can’t abide 30 seconds of a heart-warming story. What would producers at Lifetime Television say?

Let’s be real. What’s the worst case scenario here? That if Americans hear this message they will choose to make sacrifices in order to have a child and bring a wonderful life in to the world? That’s hardly an abhorrent message.

These groups are not “for” women and they don’t want them to have a “choice.” They only want women to “choose” the path of abortion. Never mind that abortion has been shown over and over to be destructive in numerous ways, both physically and psychologically. But, *please* don’t tell people that there are alternatives.

In their efforts to cling to the old feminist mantra that we somehow “need” abortion, NOW sells American women short. They assume that women are so weak-brained and easily manipulated that they must be protected from a life-affirming message.
Now, this is where one can truly say "Say it, Sister!"

1 comment:

  1. Watch Satan lash out and howl in the face of truth. Abortion is one of those issues, maybe the issue, that opens the wall of separation between the material world and the spiritual, allowing us a glimpse of the ongoing battle between the forces of God and the slaves of evil.

    We're moving closer to some end point in this battle and it is becoming more visible to those that care to look. The spiritual battle is becoming a physical one and we are being asked now more than ever to choose sides and join in. Our choice will have eternal ramifications for us.


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