Considering the abortion lobby’s deluge of pre-emptive protest against the Tim Tebow Super Bowl advertisement, sponsored by Focus on the Family, few might have guessed its actual form, first unveiled last night: a clean, simple, family-oriented message that never mentioned abortion.
The brief spot, garnished with light humor, left pro-abortion forces so scattered in their effort to respond that one group even called another’s harsh criticism of the ad “absurd.”
The ad took two forms – one that showed during the pre-game show, and an extended version that played during the Super Bowl.
The first spot shows Pam Tebow against a simple white backdrop, holding up a photo of her son as a baby. “I call him my miracle baby,” she says. “He almost didn’t make it into this world.”
“I remember so many times when I almost lost him,” she continues. “It was so hard. Well he’s all grown up now, and I still worry about his health. Everybody treats him like he’s different, but to me, he’s just my baby. He’s my Timmy, and I love him.”
Tim then walks on screen and gives his mom a hug. “Thanks mom. Love you too,” he says.
The second spot is similar to the first, except that at one point Tim runs across the screen and humorously tackles his mom as she is speaking.
“Timmy!” says Pam, “I’m trying to tell our story here.”
Tim: Sorry about that, Mom… You still worry about me, Mom?
Pam: Well, yeah, you’re not nearly as tough as I am.
Both ads direct viewers to learn more about Tebow’s story at FocusontheFamily.com. There Pam and Bob Tebow discuss the miraculous circumstances of their son Timothy’s conception and birth, and their decision not to abort him against the advice of doctors. The parents also urge viewers struggling with a difficult pregnancy to trust in God’s love and choose life for their baby.
The president of NOW, one of the leading forces urging CBS to remove the ad, responded by condemning the ad’s “celebration” of violence against women, in a reference to Tim’s tackling of his mom.
“I am blown away at the celebration of the violence against women in it,” said NOW’s Terry O’Neill, according to the LA Times. “That’s what comes across to me even more strongly than the anti-abortion message. I myself am a survivor of domestic violence, and I don’t find it charming. I think CBS should be ashamed of itself.”
Before the ad aired, O’Neill responded to former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, who had criticized NOW’s objections to the ad, by saying that “Focus on the Family has cynically set it up so they can say anyone who disagrees with airing this ad is disrespecting one woman and her choice. NOW respects every woman’s right to plan her own family and insists our laws do the same.”
Also prior to its airing, NOW vice president Erin Matson called the Tebow spot “hate masquerading as love.”
Pro-abortion blogger Amanda Marcotte also took issue with the tackle, writing in a Twitter post: “Tebow: Hey Mom! Tried to kill you from the womb and failed. How about a blind side tackle? Violence against Moms FTW [for the win]!” In another tweet, Marcotte called the spot “misogynist porn for the anti-sex crowd.”
“I think they’re attempting to use humor as another tactic of hiding their message and fooling the American people,” the president of the Women’s Media Center, another top lobbyist against the ad, told the LA Times.
Other pro-abortion leaders demurred from attacking the ad’s humor point.
“It’s absurd to claim that this is an endorsement of violence against women,” said Frances Kissling, former president of Catholics for Choice.
Saying Pam and Tim Tebow “came across as affectionate, loving, funny and happy,” Kissling admitted that Focus on the Family’s lighthearted pro-life message can credit much of its impact to the publicity generated by the all-out pro-abortion campaign against it.
“If there had not been all of that publicity over the last 2 weeks, this ad could have passed almost unnoticed. Who would have known what they’re talking about? It’s so subtle,” said Kissling.
Last week, Washington Post sports columnist Sally Jenkins wrote a scathing editorial against the abortion lobby’s reaction, presaging the negative effect of their media coverage. “Tebow’s 30-second ad hasn’t even run yet, but it already has provoked ‘The National Organization for Women Who Only Think Like Us’ to reveal something important about themselves: They aren’t actually ‘pro-choice’ so much as they are pro-abortion,” she wrote.
Pro-life blogger Dr. Gerard Nadal agreed, saying the ad’s great success lay in focusing attention on the pro-abortion lobby’s reaction to a simple celebration of life.
“Focus on the Family are expert fisherman, and you Big Mouth Bass took the bait,” said Nadal in an open letter to Planned Parenthood and NOW.
“You allowed yourselves to be exposed for just who and what you are: Haters of motherhood, fatherhood, family and babies.”