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."So because a one crazy man murdered Dr. Tiller, the entire pro-life movement shouldn't be allowed to run advertisements? Should pro-environment movement messages be banned because of eco-terrorists like the Earth Liberation Force?
"This organization is extremely intolerant and divisive and pushing an un-American agenda," said Jehmu Greene, director of the Women's Media Center, which is coordinating a campaign to force CBS to pull the ad before it airs on Feb. 7.
"Abortion is very controversial, and the anti-abortion vitriol has resulted in escalated violence against reproductive health providers and their patients," Greene said. "We've seen that clearly with the murder of Dr. George Tiller," the late-term abortion provider who was gunned down in his Kansas church in May 2009.
The Focus on the Family spokesman responds to the radicals.
"We're not trying to sell folks a big-screen TV, we're not trying to sell them a soft drink, we're not trying to sell them a Web domain name. We're not trying to sell anything — we're celebrating families,"And kudos to Tim Tebow for being willing to take the flak for what he believes. He is one young man who really seems to have his values straight.
"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," he said. "[T]hat'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."CBS, to its credit, is refusing to back down from these radical activists who seem to believe that women are too fragile to hear a pro-life message. All the controversy surrounding the ad and the protest will just bring more publicity to Focus on the Family's message. Women's groups try to argue that they're not pro-abortion, they just want women to have a choice. Well, Pam Tebow made her choice and wants to spread her inspirational story to others. Why should that be something worth all this fuss and bother? These groups are giving fodder to the argument that their real concern is not choice, but abortions.
Whether you agree with Focus on the Family's message, they should be allowed to communicate that message to the Super Bowl audience if they have the money to buy the ad time. Who knows if the people they want to reach are watching the game, but given the reaction from these women's groups, their message is going to get even more attention. A fitting penalty for their attempt to block messages with which they disagree.