News Abortion

$10 For Tebow Translates Into Terry Super Bowl Ads

Robin Marty

If the Broncos make the Super Bowl, this year's may be unwatchable.

When the Abortion Gang tried to turn Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow’s performance on the field into a fundraiser, anti-choice activists were aghast. But now, they are trying to do the same thing themselves, at the request of Randall Terry, the former founder of Operation Rescue.

Think of what “Sophia” and The Abortion Gang have done, to mock God, disparage the Tebow family, and to raise money to murder babies. And then let’s respond as true defenders of Life, and defenders of our faith. Please, give right now. Babies’ lives depend on it. And by the way, after you have given, why don’t you drop a line to The Abortion Gang, and let them know that you are helping fund a wave of Pro-life Super Bowl ads that will save babies from their bloody clutches. After you give, click the email button to send The Abortion Gang an email telling them what you have done for the babies.

Yes, Randall Terry is using Tebow to raise money to run his graphic anti-abortion ads on local stations during the Super Bowl and pregame.  And as a resident in one of his target markets, I guess I can at least thank him for giving me another reason to skip watching the game.

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Commentary Media

What Was Anti-Choicer Tim Tebow Doing Delivering a Baby in a Super Bowl Ad?

Erin Matson

The decision to show Tebow in a maternity ward, wearing a white coat, and coaching a pregnant woman in labor was a bad one. Depicting famously anti-choice spokespeople as experts, or even ordinary Joes, in the arena of reproductive health is not funny. It's disrespectful.

Tim Tebow is a known anti-choice advocate, and T-Mobile’s decision to feature him in a Super Bowl ad delivering a baby communicates a profound disrespect toward women and those made vulnerable to harm by the restriction of reproductive rights. (That’s everyone.)

The ad was one of a series featuring Tebow engaged in a wide range of activities because he is a free agent who no longer has an NFL contract. It was meant to suggest that T-Mobile wireless consumers can also engage in a wide range of activities because the service does not require a contract. As Super Bowl ad concepts go, it’s well within the range of normal to take a football star and give him the Hollywood treatment: make him a hero while things blow up big-budget style, prod a few laughs, and put the sponsor’s logo on the screen.

But one thing the series did was depict Tebow as a neutral actor in the arena of birth, pregnancy, and reproductive health—of which he is not.

Let’s have a brief history lesson: In 2010, Tim Tebow made headlines by partnering with right-wing group Focus on the Family to create a Super Bowl ad designed to spread the group’s anti-choice message.

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The ad created a great deal of controversy for CBS before the Super Bowl that year. In response to outcry from pro-choice advocates and others in the progressive community, CBS acknowledged that it had changed its internal rules regarding advocacy ads. Notably, in 2004, CBS declined to air an ad submitted by the United Church of Christ that had been intended to depict a welcoming stance toward potential parishioners regardless of sexual orientation.

The Focus on the Family Tebow ad that ultimately aired during the 2010 Super Bowl was meant to appear benign. The word “abortion” was not used, it featured Tebow with his mom, Pam, and the spot wrapped by encouraging viewers to go to the group’s website to learn more about their story and, of course, anti-choice views.

Once online, viewers were prompted to watch a longer web-only video sharing a story filled with standard anti-choice rhetoric: assertions that Pam was, during the course of a difficult pregnancy, pressured to have an abortion she did not want, and that medical professionals in the Philippines referred to her fetus as a “tumor” and “blob of tissue.” In the video, Pam extolls the virtues she sees in crisis pregnancy centers, urges women with unplanned pregnancies to avoid abortion, and declares that she takes the platform that her son Tim has seriously.

With this baggage, it’s noteworthy that T-Mobile would choose to depict Tebow delivering a baby in one of its Super Bowl commercials this year. The anti-abortion rights stance parroted by Tebow, Focus on the Family, and the anti-choice community physically endangers women in childbirth. In one gruesome example, Savita Halappanavar died in an Ireland hospital two years ago during a pregnancy because doctors denied her a life-saving abortion.

It may be the case that marketing executives at T-Mobile are not fully aware of the implications of restricting the right to abortion, but with the amount of branding dollars on the line, there is no question that those involved in the release of the recent ad were aware that Tebow had participated in a controversial abortion-related commercial just four years earlier. The decision to show him in a maternity ward, wearing a white coat, and coaching a pregnant woman in labor was a bad one. Depicting famously anti-choice spokespeople as experts, or even ordinary Joes, in the arena of reproductive health is not funny. It’s disrespectful.

News Abortion

Anti-Choice Activists Torn On Terry Ads

Robin Marty

Randall Terry plans to air graphic anti-abortion ads during the Super Bowl. Many anti-choicers are opposed.

A large majority of the online anti-choice community is very supportive of former Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry’s plan to air graphic ads during the Super Bowl, saying it’s time the “truth” got out to everyone.

But not everyone agrees it’s a good idea.  One writer at LiveAction, an anti-choice activism site run by Lila Rose, writes:

[T]here’s a time and a place for everything, and the Super Bowl’s probably not the place for dead babies. For years, I’ve helped the Pro-Life Wisconsin booth at the Fond du Lac, WI County Fair, and when the question of using this material has come up, we’ve concluded that it would do more harm than good. 

When pro-life activists go to fairs, football games, etc., they’re reaching out to people who have shown up for fun, family, community, and relaxation. They’re not out for a fight, to be sickened or depressed, or to solve the world’s problems. Particularly in venues where our message is entirely unsolicited, it fosters more goodwill to be considerate of people’s sensibilities with positive messages than it does to show brutality to their children when they’re just trying to watch football.

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Regardless, it will be fascinating to see the result of Randall Terry’s experiment. Either his commercial will cement in people’s minds the stereotype of pro-lifers as out-of-touch extremists, or it will shock a new wave of souls into standing up for the unborn.

Terry is still fundraising to actually put the ads on the air via local networks.