CBS's decision to air a Focus on the Family ad during this year's Super Bowl, while frustrating for pro-choice advocates, has a silver lining: It has inspired some pretty, well, inspiring, responses.
The spot, which is costing Focus on the Family a cool three million dollars, will show Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother discussing her choice not to have an abortion even though her health was at risk during her pregnancy. CBS has changed their "no issues" policy in order to air this ad, though at the same time they've rejected an ad for a gay dating site (hmm....).
Lucky for us, not everyone in the reproductive rights movement (or in the NFL for that matter) is taking kindly to this change in policy and the resulting anti-choice commercial, and their arguments are making a lot of sense. Says Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards:
Planned Parenthood urges all Americans to ponder the true meaning of the Tebow family's experience - one in which a woman was presented with medical and moral considerations and made a deeply personal decision in private without government interference. That is exactly what we want every woman to be able to do when she must make important and highly personal medical decisions.
Here's Planned Parenthood CEO Char Wendel with a video response to the Focus on the Family ad:
Don't you love the enthusiasm here? And it really hits home when she puts the three million dollars in terms of how many cycles of birth control it could purchase (600,000!). Also, I kind of love that she's washing her tortilla chips down with an O'Doul's. Go team!
Here is another Planned Parenthood response video featuring former professional football player Sean James and gold medalist Al Joyner, two athletes who support a woman's right to choose:
It's still pretty unusual for professional athletes to speak out on progressive issues, which could potentially allow this video to have even more of an impact. As Irin at Jezebel points out, "Nearly 100 million people usually watch the Super Bowl; this new (and excellent) Planned Parenthood video response to the Tebow ad so far clocks in at under 500 views. Let's hasten that new media revolution, shall we?" Yes we shall!
And in even more not-everyone-associated-with-the-NFL-is-anti-choice news, New Orleans Saints' linebacker Scott Fujita (who will be playing in Sunday's game) voiced his pro-choice and pro-gay rights stance in yesterday's New York Times. Sarah.of.a.lesser.god over at The Pursuit of Harpyness has a great recap of the article. As Harpyness commenter Shammy had to say on the matter, "Now I know who I'm rooting for on Sunday! GEAUX SAINTS!"
It's a shame that CBS is allowing a staunchly anti-choice group like Focus on the Family to air their issues-based ad during one of the most watched television events of the year. However, it's downright inspiring to see the responses from those who have different opinions. Spread the word!