The still-unseen, yet controversial Tim Tebow Super Bowl ad is on everyone’s mind, including mine. One friend said to me, “I can’t believe you haven’t written anything about it yet!”
I’ve been wanting to, but to be honest I was waiting until I had more facts. I think I’ve got plenty now, and if you thought Focus on the Family and CBS weren’t out to sell us some propaganda, think again.
Now, before my friends who don’t like my pro-choice views (and when I say pro-choice, I mean the right to choose whatever option is the best for a woman), hear me out. This isn’t just about a happy, fluffy spot to say babies are great.
But if you want a bigger picture about the back story of Tim Tebow’s mother and the real circumstances surrounding her pregnancy, spend a few minutes at About.com Women’s Issues blog. My friend Linda Lowen’s post, “Slate Exposes Complexities Behind Tim Tebow/Pam Tebow Super Bowl Abortion Ad,” should be food for thought for everyone, no matter which side of the choice debate they’re on. The vast majority of women who are diagnosed with the condition and symptoms she had with amoebic dysentary almost always have a stillborn child due to something called placental disruption, and have a very high risk that they themselves will die. Plus there’s this angle, which I hadn’t considered before, quoting from the Slate article entitled, The Invisible Dead:
On Sunday, we won’t see all the women who chose life and found death. We’ll just see the Tebows, because they’re alive and happy to talk about it. In the business world, this is known as survivor bias: Failed mutual funds disappear, leaving behind the successful ones, which creates the illusion that mutual funds tend to beat market averages. In the Tebows’ case, the survivor bias is literal. If you’re diagnosed with placental abruption, you have the right to choose life. But don’t be so sure that life is what you’ll get….
If Pam Tebow’s abruption had taken a different turn, her son would be just another perinatal mortality statistic, and she might be just another maternal mortality statistic. And you would know nothing of her story, just as you know nothing of the women who have died carrying pregnancies like hers.
Of course, CBS has said that this is a commercial like any other and since someone is paying the millions of dollars to purchase those precious 30 seconds, that’s OK by them. Except that there are many other political/advocacy ads that CBS has turned down before on the grounds that they don’t show those types of ads during the Super Bowl.
The ad isn’t, as Focus on the Family claims, an effort to celebrate families. It’s an extreme right-wing group trying to get a leg up on swaying the public debate with half-truths on a medical procedure that is still legal.
There’s apparently no discussion in the ad about how many other women with similar medical issues die in childbirth. There’s apparently no mention of how many of these children will be stillborn. And CBS isn’t running a similar spot for the pro-choice community (or for any other women’s medical procedures).
CBS isn’t celebrating families, it’s celebrating profits at the expense of alienating viewers for a political agenda. And it’s talking about a medical procedure in front of an audience of families with many children who are not old enough to hear about it or understand what’s going on.
I’m not sure CBS or any network can really afford that, especially since I think there are a lot of viewers who will be boycotting the Super Bowl, and CBS in the future, because of this decision. If you want to protest the ad and/or CBS’ disingenuous defense of running the ad, join us over at MOMocrats where we’re having a special kind of tailgate party — for choice. You can bet I’ll be having my say at that tailgate party.