Super Bowl Ad Seeks to Limit Women's Choices
By Derrick McMahon -- Black College Wire   

When most people think of the Super Bowl, they think of a grand American sporting event involving food, parties and great times. Most people do not think about abortion. 

The Super Bowl is behind us, but the controversial issue surrounding a commercial from anti-abortion group, Focus on the Family, deserves a second look. 

The Famuan
Derrick McMahon
The commercial aired during the game and featured Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow and his mother Pam Tebow. Focus on The Family is campaigning to make abortion illegal. However, this belief comes at the expense of women.

As admirable as some may think the ad was, it failed to recognize one important point: making abortion illegal will not stop it from happening. The Center for Reproductive Rights has pointed out that if abortion becomes illegal it will go underground, making it unsafe.

Most of the debate came down to whether a commercial advocating anti-abortion should be allowed on the air. This debate is a distraction from the real issue of whether or not women should have the right to choose. 

Pam Tebow is a woman who made a choice. She knew the risks of continuing with her pregnancy and against her doctor’s wishes she decided to carry her child to term. 

We can all respect her decision in her personal situation. Yet, Pam Tebow seems to be advocating for other women not to have a choice.

Many women face a similar situation to Pam Tebow. Sometimes women choose to continue their pregnancies and sometimes they do not. But the ultimate choice should be theirs.  

As Jezebel magazine contributor Latoya Peterson pointed out, “The Tebows are now taking the stance that the only permissible option is to not terminate pregnancies; effectively denying other women the choice that Pam Tebow herself was able to exercise.” Pam Tebow was lucky.

Nevertheless, other women are not always as fortunate and should not be forced to risk their lives as she chose to do. Women are not a homogenous community. The choice of one woman should not be used to deny other women the ability to make choices of their own. 

Beyond the Super Bowl, CBS and the commercial, the most important thing to do is recognize women as human beings capable of making competent and informed decisions regarding their reproductive health.

Derrick McMahon writes for The Famuan, the Florida A&M University student newspaper, which originally published this article.

Articles in the Voices section represent the views of the individual wrtiters and do not reflect the opinions of Black College Wire.

Posted Feb. 10, 2010