by Rebecca Richmond
Like many others, I was very interested to watch Focus on the Family’s Super Bowl commercial featuring football star Tim Tebow and his mother Pam. Weeks before the Super Bowl, the ad generated about as much buzz as Janet Jackson’s infamous 2004 “wardrobe malfunction.” Some feminists and women’s groups immediately went on the warpath to prevent CBS from letting one woman who chose life despite difficult circumstances tell her story. Note that they hadn’t yet seen the ad.
The entire kerfuffle was in many ways tragic to the point of ridiculous. Did anyone else find it ironic that women’s groups, in the name of choice, were trying to silence a woman’s story of her choice? Did someone rewrite the definition of choice and forget to tell me?
The commercial, when I finally saw it, was cute, positive and utterly benign.
It appears that these women’s groups may have actually ended up shooting themselves in the foot since they brought the issue to the headlines and got America and Canada talking about abortion. They also demonstrated how their position is, in and of itself, contradictory. If women have the right to chose and the right to freedom of expression, they sure shouldn’t be shot down for talking about their choice – whether it’s Pam Tebow who chose life or the women of Silent No More who proclaim that they regret their abortions, as another example.
Someone directed me to an interesting article by Sally Jenkins, a pro-choice columnist who also found the Tebow controversy silly. She writes:
Let me be clear again: I couldn’t disagree with Tebow more. It’s my own belief that the state has no business putting its hand under skirts. But I don’t care that we differ. CBS owns its broadcast and can run whatever advertising it wants, and Tebow has a right to express his beliefs publicly. Just as I have the right to reject or accept them after listening — or think a little more deeply about the issues. If the pro-choice stance is so precarious that a story about someone who chose to carry a risky pregnancy to term undermines it, then CBS is not the problem.
While it must have been difficult for the Tebows and for Focus on the Family to endure the onslaught of angry women’s groups, the entire debacle may also have helped our cause by revealing the absurdity of the pro-choice claims. If pro-choicers want to be consistent in their claims, they need to start supporting all choices, and not just their preferences.