College football superstar Tim Tebow is standing fast behind a pro-life ad developed by Focus on the Family and set to air on CBS on Super Bowl Sunday. Although the ad has not been released, abortion advocacy groups are already demanding that it be scrapped, since it likely features the story of how Tebow’s mother chose life when doctors were urging her abort her now-famous son.
The college football superstar, who just ended his last season quarterbacking for the Florida Gators, has been an anomaly among top-tier athletes. Tebow makes no bones about his Christian faith, his pro-life convictions , and the fact that he wants to save himself for marriage .
But Tebow’s pro-life convictions spring from an unusually personal source: back in 1987, his mother contracted amoebic dysentery while pregnant with him in the Philippines, and doctors recommended abortion. Had Pam Tebow taken that advice, Tebow fans would never have seen the football phenomenon win the Heisman Trophy in 2007 and carry the Gators to victory in two major championships.
At a Sunday press conference in Mobile, Tebow told the gaggle of reporters: "I know some people won’t agree with [the ad], but I think they can at least respect that I stand up for what I believe, and I’m never shy about that."
"I don’t feel like I’m very preachy about it, but I do stand up for what I believe. Unfortunately in today’s society not many athletes tend to do that. So I’m just standing for something."
But Tebow’s standing for pro-life values has outraged abortion advocacy groups, who fear the effect the Focus on the Family ad could have on millions of Super Bowl viewers on Feb. 7. Tebow’s story is already credited with having influenced a number of women to choose not to abort their babies.
The Women’s Media Center has been coordinating efforts with the National Organization for Women and the Feminist Majority to pressure CBS, the broadcasting station hosting the Super Bowl this year, to revoke the 30-second ad called “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life.”
"An ad that uses sports to divide rather than to unite has no place in the biggest national sports event of the year — an event designed to bring Americans together," Jehmu Greene, president of the Women’s Media Center, told the Associated Press.
Last year, the National Football League and NBC (then broadcasting the Super Bowl) elected to nix an advertisement sponsored by the Catholic watchdog group Fidelis, which hailed the success of President Obama overcoming the difficult circumstances of his early life and featured the message "Life: Imagine the Potential."
However one pro-life group says that feminist groups’ obsession with the as-yet-unseen content of the Tebow ad highlights an abysmal ideological attitude when it comes to defending women’s rights and dignity.
“In the three and a half years that I advised FCC Chairman Kevin Martin on indecency issues, I can’t recall one time that NOW ever spoke out about the sexually graphic or misogynistic content on CBS,” Penny Nance, CEO for Concerned Women for America told LifeSiteNews.com. “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.”
Focus on the Family has dismissed the controversy over the upcoming ad.
"There’s nothing political and controversial about it,” said Gary Schneeberger, a spokesman for Focus on the Family. “When the day arrives, and you sit down to watch the game on TV, those who oppose it will be quite surprised at what the ad is all about."
With the Super Bowl set to kick off in about two weeks, CBS, which has already reviewed and approved the ad’s script, has given no indication of yanking the Tebow ad.