Superbowl Pro-Life Ad

Yuiko Sugino/Guardian

Misleading Ad Is a Disservice to the Cause

The controversial Superbowl ad from Focus on the Family fades from a baby photo to a headshot of Pam Tebow (mother of 2007 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow), who — with a Botoxed smile — explains how she “almost lost” her son. The ad concludes with uplifting music and a sentimental scene of Tim hugging his mother, framed by “Pam and Tim Tebow — 2007 Heisman Trophy Winner.”

Message: Don’t abort, because your uterus could be holding the next Heisman trophy winner.

But what the 30-second spot doesn’t tell us is that Tim wasn’t actually an unplanned pregnancy, nor the son of a teen mother: The doctors in the third-world country in which Tebow was conceived thought he was a tumor. Pam’s nurse advised her to “abort” the tumor, stressing that keeping it would put her life in danger.

Just short of sounding like an ad for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Tebow tries to pull the heart-strings of the football enthusiasts across the country. But did she really “almost lose” him? Nearly aborting a child — several times — does not equate to almost losing it.

Tebow said that if god asked her to give her life up, “he would take care of [her] family.” Pro-lifers are, of course, entitled to their views, but sharing only a misleading tidbit of Pam Tebow’s story does not promote the organization’s cause; it only leaves us furrowing our brows in confusion.

— Cheryl Hori

Associate Opinion Editor

Subtler Delivery Scores a Pro-LifeTouchdown

Strolling down Library Walk, it always burns a hole through my eyes to see pro-life demonstrators deck the walkways with photos of aborted fetuses. But blatant tastelessness aside, the message is indeed clear and unavoidable — an eye-catching means of publicizing their cause.

This time, though, the pro-life brigade didn’t make my stomach want to hurl its contents. The scripted dialogue from Tim Tebow’s mother about how lucky she is to have kept her son was so vague, I was left wondering if she’d almost miscarried or if the meaty hulk was once a premee.

But there’s a reason that we’re left scratching our heads after viewing the multi-million-dollar ad: Had Pam whipped out a dismembered fetus and scolded pro-choicers everywhere, we’d be less be willing to lend an ear to the Focus on the Family campaign. The shift from in-your-face pop-ups to family-targeted sob stories is — though it may still strike the nerves of pro-choicers — a clever marketing decision for the organization. Hey, if they can raise an eyebrow without turning a stomach, they must be doing something right.

— Kelsey Marrujo

Senior Staff Writer