The backlash against Focus on the Family's upcoming Super Bowl ad in which Pam Tebow describes how she rejected medical advice to have an abortion when she was pregnant with her Heisman Trophy-winning son, Tim, continues to escalate.
First, the National Organization of Women (NOW) called the ad "demeaning" and "revolting" and started a petition drive demanding CBS, the network carrying the game on Sunday, to drop it. Then famed feminist lawyer Gloria Allred publicly questioned the veracity of the Tebows' story and threatened to lodge a formal complaint with the Federal Communications Commission if the spot airs. In a letter she released to the press, Allred argued that because the Tebows lived in the Philippines (where abortion is illegal) at the time of Pam Tebow's pregnancy, it isn't conceivable that doctors counseled her to consider aborting her son.
Now Planned Parenthood is mounting an offensive against the 30-second commercial as well. Although the abortion provider's ad is running on its website rather than during the most-watched sporting event of the year, it directly responds to the Tebow spot. In it, two male athletes-gold-medal jumper Al Joyner and former Minnesota Vikings running back Sean James-express their respect for "women's decisions about their health." Though the ad tacitly supports abortion, like the Tebow spot it never mentions the procedure by name, and both men avoid using the word "choice."
CBS is also receiving an increasing amount of criticism from the homosexual community as a result of the Tebow ad. Groups like the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) have joined with NOW in accusing the network of applying its advertising policy inconsistently after it turned down a commercial for a gay dating website.
Some in the media, however, like The New York Times editorial board and Washington Post sportswriter Sally Jenkins, have come to the network's defense, pointing out that if NOW, Planned Parenthood, and likeminded organizations are truly committed to promoting choice, they will take no issue with Focus on the Family publicizing Pam Tebow's choice to continue the life of her son.
Also see Cal Thomas' column "Super commercial" and the WorldMagBlog post "Tim Tebow closes breakfast in prayer."