The Super Bowl isn't even here yet, and already there's a huge controversy over the advertising. The debate involves a 30-second commercial, which will air on CBS during the Super Bowl and features college football quarterback Tim Tebow, his mom, Pam, and (what critics say is) an anti-abortion message.
Does advertising about abortion and other controversial women's health issues have any place during the Super Bowl?
The commercial recounts what occurred during Pam Tebow's pregnancy in 1987: She was traveling in the Philippines while pregnant with her fifth child and became sick. The doctors recommended she abort the child in order to save her life; she chose to ignore their advice and instead chose to carry her baby to term, eventually choosing to give birth to Tim. The ad, paid for by a conservative Christian group, Focus on the Family, presents her story as part of the theme, "Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life."
Here's what Tim told reporters about the ad and his anti-abortion stance:
"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..."I've always been very convicted of it [his views on abortion] because that'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."
In response, a national coalition of women's groups is protesting the airing of this ad, arguing that CBS should have turned down the ad because it has historically prohibited controversial advocacy ads: In the past, the network has rejected advertising from such organizations as PETA, MoveOn.org, and United Church of Christ.
But CBS stands by the Tebow ad, saying that it has "eased its restrictions on advocacy ads and will consider any that are "responsibly produced."
So does this mean the pro-choice side will have an equally fair opportunity to air an ad on the network (as long as they can come up with the cash)? Since when did Super Bowl Sunday become an appropriate forum for an abortion debate?
I like the response of this CBSSports.com sports writer:
If you're a sports fan, and I am, that's the holiest day of the year...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.
Do you think Super Bowl Sunday is an appropriate time to discuss abortion? Do you think the Tebow ad and other ads for or against abortion rights should air during the game?