By Catholic News Service
NEW YORK (CNS) — An ad scheduled to air on CBS during the network’s broadcast of the Feb. 7 Super Bowl has generated criticism from groups such as the National Organization for Women because of its pro-life message.
The 30-second spot will feature recent University of Florida graduate Tim Tebow, the Gators’ star quarterback who graduated in December. The 2007 Heisman Trophy winner led his team to victory in the Sugar Bowl Jan. 1.
Sponsored by Focus on the Family, a Christian advocacy group based in Colorado Springs, Colo., the ad reportedly will highlight Tebow’s mother, Pam, who decided against medical advice not to abort him. Pam suffered from a dangerous infection during a mission trip to the Philippines, and doctors recommended that she terminate her pregnancy, fearing she might die in childbirth or the child might be stillborn.
A spokesman for the organization said the theme of the ad is “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life,” but he would not comment on the content of the ad.
Several women’s groups have complained to CBS about the ad, urging it not air, but the network released a statement Jan. 26 saying it was standing behind the ad. The network said it has revised its policies on advocacy ads in recent years as have other media outlets.
NOW and other women’s groups, such as the Women’s Media Center, an organization that says it works “to make women visible and powerful in the media,” have called the ad divisive and inappropriate for the setting. They also complained that in previous years networks have banned issue-oriented ads sponsored by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, MoveOn.org and the United Church of Christ. (more…)