A group of more than two-dozen women's and pro-choice advocacy organizations has demanded that CBS reject a Super Bowl ad that has been placed in the upcoming Feb. 7 game by Focus on the Family featuring college football star Tim Tebow.
The content of the ad has not been disclosed, although the advocacy groups protesting it are concerned that it contains an anti-abortion message.
Focus on the Family has strong anti-abortion views and Tebow's mother famously rejected doctors' advice to abort her pregnancy with him due to health concerns.
"Focus on the Family has waged war on nontraditional families, tried its hand at race baiting during the 2008 election, and is now attempting to use the Super Bowl to further ramp up the vitriolic rhetoric surrounding reproductive rights," the pro-choice groups, including the National Organization of Women and Abortion Access Project, said in their letter to CBS on Jan. 25.
CBS issued this statement: "We have for some time moderated our approach to advocacy submissions after it became apparent that our stance did not reflect public sentiment or industry norms on the issue. In fact, most media outlets have accepted advocacy ads for some time. At CBS, our standards and practices process continues to adhere to a process that ensures all ads -- on all sides of an issue -- are appropriate for air. We will continue to consider responsibly produced ads from all groups for the few remaining spots in Super Bowl XLIV."
A spokesman for Focus on the Family did not immediately reply to an e-mail for comment. When the group confirmed its ad on Jan. 15, it indicated in a release that Tebow and his mother, Pam, would "share a personal story centered on the theme of 'Celebrate family, celebrate life.'"
Jim Daly, president and CEO of Focus on the Family, said in a statement that "the chance to partner with the Tebows and lift up a meaningful message about family and life comes at the right moment in the culture, because families need to be inspired."
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