By Erin Matson, NOW Action Vice President
Attention activists: Get thee to the Women’s Media Center’s Not Under the Bus site immediately to stop Focus on the Family’s anti-abortion rights Super Bowl ad.
Make no mistake about this ad: it’s offensive to women. Yes, it features Heisman trophy winner Tim Tebow and his mother, who had been advised to have an abortion after a serious illness. Standing alone, it sends the message that all women who give birth are heroes; it sends a message that abortion is always a mistake; and it is insulting to the one in three women in this country who have abortions.
After intense pressure led by the Women’s Media Center and supported by women’s advocacy allies including the National Organization for Women, CBS abruptly reversed its long-standing policy against accepting socially controversial advertisements and said they would accept ads so long as they were “responsibly produced.” (What does that mean? Who decides? Are women’s issues responsible? Is calling out racism responsible? Is advocating equal marriage responsible?)
This is revolting. Focus on the Family, which believes it can counsel lesbians and gays out of homosexuality and would like to end legal abortion, gets accommodation from CBS after that same network previously denied ads from the United Church of Christ depicting a welcome environment for same sex couples.