[Guest post by DRJ]
Super Bowl XLIV pits Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints against Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. It’s scheduled for February 7, 2010, so the famous Super Bowl ads haven’t even aired yet, but there will be added interest this year — especially from abortion advocates and their pro-life opponents — because of the Tebow ad:
“The 30-second spot, paid for by the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family, is expected to recount the story of Pam Tebow’s turbulent pregnancy in 1987:
When Tebow suffered from a dangerous infection during a mission trip to the Philippines, doctors recommended that she terminate her pregnancy, fearing she might die in childbirth. But she carried Tim to term, and he went on to win the 2007 Heisman Trophy and guide the Florida Gators to two BCS championships.
It’s a happy story with an inspirational ending, but pro-choice critics say Focus on the Family should not be allowed to air the commercial because it advocates on behalf of a divisive issue and threatens to “throw women under the bus.”
The Women’s Media Center, the National Organization for Women, and other abortion groups have initiated an online petition and letter-writing campaign asking CBS to pull the ad as too controversial:
“Greene, of the Women’s Media Center, says CBS should simply follow its own example and ban advocacy ads from its airwaves.
“CBS has a very long history of prohibiting advocacy ads that it deems controversial,” she said, listing banned commercials from PETA, MoveOn.org and the United Church of Christ. “We are calling them out for the hypocrisy and bias in making the decision to air an ad that clearly is on a controversial issue.”
Reportedly CBS is “not backing down,” releasing a statement that says, “At CBS, our standards and practices process continues to adhere to a process that ensures all ads — on all sides of an issue — are appropriate for air.”