OpEd is below.
ALSO: Sunsara Taylor will be speaking on Tuesday, February. 23 on
36 East 8th Street, Manhattan, 7-9:30 pm tkts: $10-20, free for students w/I.D.
Anti-Abortion Ad has No Place in College Sports or National Television
This weekend, CBS will air an anti-abortion ad from Focus on the Family featuring college football star Tim Tebow and his mother, Pam Tebow, during the Superbowl.
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This is in spite of CBS’s long-standing policy to reject “advocacy.” Last year they rejected an ad welcoming gays and lesbians into the United Church of Christ.
Tim and Pam Tebow’s story is that during her pregnancy with him, her doctor suggested she consider abortion due to possible health risks. Her claim to fame is that she refused to even consider abortion and ended up with a healthy baby who grew up to be a huge college football star.
But, as Joy Behar pointed out on The View, Tim Tebow could just as easily could have grown up to be a rapist pedophile.
On a deeper level, there’s no inherent value in risking one’s life for a pregnancy. Fetuses are not people. They have the potential to become people, but until they are born, they are a subordinate part of a woman’s body. If she decides to terminate that pregnancy, for whatever reason, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. If a woman does have a child and it grows up to do great things, that doesn’t validate her any more than if it does terrible things that means she has failed.
The only framework in which it makes sense to celebrate a woman for risking her life to have a child is if you are stuck in the Dark Ages. You know, back in the day when a woman’s worth was reducible to the “quality” of children she bore to her husband and master.
Not surprisingly, that is exactly the framework that Tim and Pam Tebow and Focus on the Family are in. They are Biblical literalists. That means they believe it is a woman’s job to make babies and obey men. If you don’t believe us, read it in the Bible. In 1 Timothy 2:13-16 that “god” explains the curse put on women for “deceiving” Adam in the “Garden of Eden” and how we can only be saved if we bear children.
This is why Focus on the Family is not only against abortion, they are against birth control! Further, they think being gay is an abomination and they believe the earth is only 6000 years old.
The problem is not just that CBS decided to take this ad and are denying other ads, although that is hypocritical. The problem is that this particular view of women has no place in any decent society. It doesn’t belong in college football, it doesn’t belong on the SuperBowl, it doesn’t belong in politics, it doesn’t belong in this millennium.
Women are not breeders. We are not lesser beings. We are not objects created for the sexual pleasure of men. We are human beings, capable of participating fully and equally in every realm of human endeavor. It is time that we be portrayed as such.
Janai Garfinkel, NYU Graduate 2000