Dana Goldstein, late of TAP and now at the Daily Beast, reveals today that CBS actually worked closely with the conservative group Focus on the Family in the making of Tim Tebow's Super Bowl ad. The ad, implicitly but possibly not explicitly, is expected to be anti-choice and tell the story of how Tebow's mother, Pam Tebow, ignored the advice of doctors after she got sick and decided not to abort Tim:
CBS declined to comment on the details of its work with Focus on the Family on the Tebow ad, but said such cooperation is not unusual. Abortion rights advocates see it differently. If CBS did vet scripts for the ad, the cooperation is 'appalling,' said Terry O'Neill, president of the National Organization for Women. 'If true, CBS is not just selling ad time for profit, but has been affirmatively working hand-in-glove—in secret—to promote Focus on the Family's agenda. When you recall that Focus on the Family wants to overturn Roe v. Wade…this revelation is extremely, extremely disturbing.'
But if you watch any television shows that make even the slightest forays into unwanted pregnancy, it's not surprising that a major network would make a tacit endorsement of the conservative, anti-choice view. The number of pop culture outlets that discuss abortion in any sort of adult, productive way is small, and its absence probably contributes to the debate whether intended to or not. Recent episodes of Friday Night Lights are excepted.
Again, though, the disturbing thing about Pam Tebow's story is not that she chose to go through with her pregnancy. It's that, in the retelling, she seems to be urging other women to make the same, incredibly dangerous decision while her beliefs would deny women any other choice. Goldstein quotes doctors who note the most appalling aspect of the ad: it's not just anti-choice; it's anti-science:
The ad's content has also raised hackles among some ob-gyns, who see it as an attack on medical expertise. 'I'm about to do an abortion for a woman with a hole in her heart,' Dr. Anne Davis, medical director of Physicians for Reproductive Choice and a practicing ob-gyn in New York City, told The Daily Beast. 'If she were to stay pregnant, there's a 75 percent chance that she wouldn't make it. When people want to stay pregnant no matter what the risks, we hang in there with them and do whatever we can do for them. But it doesn't always turn out well.'
-- Monica Potts