CBS provoked an uproar by agreeing to air an’anti-abortion ad funded by the conservative non-profit Christian organization Focus on the Family during the Super Bowl on Sunday. The ad features former University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother’s decision not to abort him, though she claimed being advised by doctors to do so after contracting an illness in the Philippines.
CBS’ decision has been condemned by women groups like the National Organization for Women (NOW), the Women’s Media Center and the Feminist Majority.
NOW President Terry O’Neill said to Politico: ‘Focus on the Family has cynically set it up so they can say anyone who disagrees with airing this ad is disrespecting one woman and her choice. NOW respects every woman’s right to plan her own family and insists our laws do’the same.’
Though CBS has never’permitted advocacy ads during the Super Bowl in the past, the Tebow ad should air. If rejected, CBS would have unduly upset some conservatives who wanted to overtly spread their message to millions of viewers.
The conservative’movement has seen itself ‘victimized’ in recent years – so they claim. In December 2007, Francisco Nava, a’right-wing Princeton student, was allegedly beaten for his political views, quickly igniting a firestorm of conservative finger-wagging.
‘It’s a terrible incident, but it doesn’t surprise me. The left has now become the hate group,’ conservative activist David Horowitz said to The New York Sun shortly after the Nava incident.
But Nava’s beating was proven to be a hoax. If CBS rejected the Tebow ad, it would have received more vocal backlash from these ‘victimized’ conservatives.
Focus on the Family should not be criticized for its advocacy efforts, and conservatives should be allowed to continue to advance their ideology even if people disagree with them.
Conservative voters should be allowed to elect inept politicians and to vote against their best interests, because freedom of choice is important in America. People have a right to make bad decisions, and CBS acted rightly in’allowing Focus on the Family to air its ad.
Neil Manimala is a junior majoring in biomedical’sciences.