We heard similar objections 20 years ago after Super Bowl champions from the New York Giants, backed by team owner and faithful Catholic Wellington Mara, took part in a pro-life video called “Champions for Life.”
Among the critics was columnist Anna Quindlen, then working for the New York Times, who used the term “out of bounds” to describe the 10-minute video that related football stardom to abortion opposition.
Now the terrific Heisman Trophy quarterback Tim Tebow is at the center of controversy over an ad that is slated to run on CBS during the Super Bowl, Feb. 7. Leader of the two-time national champ Florida squad, Tebow has used his media platform throughout his stellar career to talk about the Bible and Jesus Christ.
Sponsored by the evangelical group headed by James Dobson, Focus on the Family, the 30-second Tebow ad is expected to carry a strong pro-life, pro-family message that is nonetheless personal and compelling. While she was an evangelical missionary in the Philippines some 23 years ago, Tebow’s mother became ill while carrying him, took antibiotics, and (the story goes) was advised by doctors to get an abortion. She refused, and now we have one of the greatest football talents God has given the world. And a fine young man as well.
When informed of this ad, pro-abortion feminist groups once again shouted “out of bounds.” The National Organization for Women (NOW) and other similar groups have lobbied CBS to drop the ad, which reportedly costs more than $2 million. They say that the Super Bowl, an event that draws the nation’s attention, should not be used as a forum for one side of a divisive political issue.
Writing on NOW’s website, the organization’s Vice President Erin Matson explains her opposition to the ad: “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”
From this statement, we can see why NOW is becoming increasingly ineffective in reaching the hearts and minds of today’s women. First of all, women who give birth ARE heroes, and who is NOW to suggest that they are not? Since when is it not heroic to carry a rapidly growing being within you for nine months, suffer all sorts of discomfort and perhaps long bouts of nausea and vomiting, and go through long hours of labor and a painful delivery? I saw my wife do just that as she went through two c-sections. She will always be a hero in my eyes, and I am sure the majority of men in America think the same way about their wives.
NOW is also off base about the “one in three women” being insulted by the pro-life ad. It’s my guess that most women who have had an abortion would wish Mrs. Tebow all the best for making a choice for life. After all, who can argue with the result?
From all statistics and anecdotal reports, the majority of those who have had abortions do not want their experience celebrated at half-time at the Super Bowl. Even if they would defend their choice, abortion does not rank as a favorite memory. After all, what woman would include a picture from the abortion in her photo album or on her refrigerator? Yet every woman who has given birth has ultrasound and delivery room photos, and some even cherish videos of the baby squeezing out of the birth canal.
At the March for Life, thousands of women carried the sign, “I Regret My Abortion.” They want their experience to serve as a cautionary tale to any woman who would, to erase the “mistake” of unwanted pregnancy, follow them in making an even bigger mistake that will stay with them all of their lives.
More power to Tim Tebow and his mom for speaking out and using his football fame to tell a deeply personal story that will change hearts and save lives. Score this as another Tebow TD.