Americans cool on abortion, appropriately given the societal damage it both causes and reflects

My views on abortion have changed mightily over the years.  The selfish, immature side of me still longs for a pro-choice label, but the mature, moral side of me has concluded that, subject to a few exceptions, pro-Life is the way to go.  I won’t expand on that right now, but you can see more on my views here.

On the subject of abortion, I want to draw your attention to three things:

First, if you somehow managed to miss this headline story, let me be the one to tell you that the Superbowl, of all things, is at the center of an abortion controversy.  Tim Tebow, super-duper college quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner, is going to be in a television commercial that is slated to air during the Superbowl.  In it, he and his mother talk about the fact that she elected to go ahead with a difficult pregnancy, even though the medical establishment assured her that the baby was likely to be dead or damaged at birth.  Tebow, of course, was neither.  Women’s groups are outraged (h/t Soccer Dad), although they sound more foolish than persuasive in their anger:

A national coalition of women’s groups called on CBS on Monday to scrap its plan to broadcast an ad during the Super Bowl featuring college football star Tim Tebow and his mother, which critics say is likely to convey an anti-abortion message.

“An ad that uses sports to divide rather than to unite has no place in the biggest national sports event of the year — an event designed to bring Americans together,” said Jehmu Greene, president of the New York-based Women’s Media Center.


The protest letter from the Women’s Media Center suggested that CBS should have turned down the ad in part because it was conceived by Focus on the Family.

“By offering one of the most coveted advertising spots of the year to an anti-equality, anti-choice, homophobic organization, CBS is aligning itself with a political stance that will damage its reputation, alienate viewers, and discourage consumers from supporting its shows and advertisers,” the letter said.

Hmm.  While I know that large sectors of the American public watch the Superbowl (I guess that’s the coming together part), I always considered it a rather divisive thing, considering that half the audience is devoutly hoping that the other half turns off the television set in deep despair.

But more to the point, I found interesting the fact that the women’s groups state, with no authority, that celebrating a successful life that resulted because the baby’s mother made a choice, is something that will “damage [CBS’s] reputation, alienate viewers, and discourage consumers from supporting its shows and advertisers.”  I think the women’s groups are backing the wrong horse.

Which brings me to my second point about abortion.

The invaluable Zombie was out on the streets of San Francisco this past weekend, documenting the annual pro-Life rally held in that bastion of radical liberalism.  What you’d except from a photojournalist is a series of photos showing a few cowering pro-Lifers, surrounded by screaming pro-Choicers, all carrying “keep your hands off my uterus” signs and wearing kuffiyahs (because who doesn’t go to a feminist rally wearing the clothing symbol of the most repressive, misogynist culture on earth?).  But there you’d be wrong.  In a stunning combination of photos and text, Zombie reveals that the rally was a blow-out for the pro-Life crowd.  As Zombie says:

[W]hen the anti-abortion group Walk for Life staged a march in San Francisco last Saturday, January 23, they turned out an overwhelming and jaw-dropping 40,000 pro-life activists, who were met by a well-advertised counter-protest which managed to draw no more than 80 (that’s eighty, eight-zero) pro-choice advocates. 40,000 vs. 80 is a 500-to-1 pro-life advantage, something that seems inconceivable in the sex-positive liberal stronghold of San Francisco. How did this happen?

Talk about must-read journalism.

And the third and last thing I want to discuss about abortion isn’t really about abortion at all, it’s about the culture that supports unfettered, unlimited abortion.  As you probably read somewhere the other day, the teen pregnancy numbers rose a bit higher in 2006.  Robert Rector tells us that (a) those numbers are not what they seem and that (b) more seriously, those numbers reveal, not about a problem that can be corrected with ever more birth control and abortions, but a fundamental societal breakdown amongst young Americans.

As for me, with one pre-teen  and one very observant 10 year old, I spend a lot of my time talking about values and self-respect.  I’ve learned that, in a wired world, I cannot protect my kids from exposure to our sex saturated culture.  All I can do, over and over, is talk about the value they should place on themselves, the respect they owe others, the moral forces in favor of marriage and abstinence, and the risks associated with disease and young, out-of-wedlock pregnancy.  I hope, devoutly, that my kids take these messages to heart, because I really don’t have much else in my armament.

My parents always complained that, raising children in the late 1960s and 1970s, they had a hard time parenting against societal trends.  They couldn’t have imagined how much worse it would become.  Yes, they had to deal with hippies and self-actualization, but pop culture was still reasonably traditional.  The Brady kid actors may have been getting into trouble behind the scenes, but the message to the viewing audience was still one of traditional values.  Who would have imagined then MTV, YouTube, Lady GaGa, Adam Baldwin Lambert (isn’t that the crotch-grabber from American Idol?), and the whole parade of degradation that oozes out of every pore of American society?  Looking around, it’s clear that abortion is both a cause and a symptom of a society that has lost its sexual bearings, bearings that should be grounded in respect for the opposite sex and reverence for human life.

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  • Oldflyer

    Book, my wife and I both attended the U. of Florida and have followed their sports teams through the  years.  Although we have been away from Florida for decades, there are family and friends there who are avid supporters and keep us informed.  Of course, with all of the various media today it is very easy to keep close tabs on people and groups that interest you.
    So, we have followed the Tim Tebow story closely. His is a wonderful family and a truly outstanding young man.  He is a wonderful athlete, but more significantly he is a amazing person.  Many of his good works are well documented, but the things that he does routinely nearly every day of his life to brighten the day of a sick or disabled child are astounding.
    His mother and father were missionaries in the Philippines when she was pregnant with Tim.  She had a life threatening illness.  Despite the advice of  her Doctors that the outcome of her pregnancy would be catastrophic, she chose to give her child a chance by letting nature play out. It was an act of great courage and a very strong expression of faith.  That is the story they will tell.  My understanding is that they will not proselytize on the politics, but simply tell their story.  That quite simply is the story that the pro-abortion crowd cannot stand for people to hear.
    The other “problem” is that Tim speaks openly of his faith, and uses his notoriety as a vehicle to do so.  He doesn’t tell anyone how to live their lives, but he speaks openly and often of what his faith means to him.  Drives some people mad.
    I have a bet with my wife that CBS will cave before all is said and done.

  • rockdalian

    The crotch grabber would be Adam Lambert.
    Adam Baldwin is an out of the closet unabashed Conservative. He is a contributor to the Big Hollywood blog and one of the actors on Chuck.
    And a gun lover.

  • esurio

    Your last several posts have blown me away! Great job! You’re a daily must read. Glad you have had a conversion of heart concerning abortion.
    The actor Adam Baldwin (Chuck, Firefly) is a conservative blogger for I think it is Adam Lambert who did the crotch grab on American Idol.

  • Bookworm

    Thanks, Rockdalian.  When it comes to names, my brain is pretty much word soup.

  • rockdalian

    From the American Family Association web site.
    Urge CBS to stand firm on airing pro-life Tebow Super Bowl ad
    Send an e-mail to CBS Chairman Les Moonves today!

  • suek

    Pro-choice – as long as you make one they approve of.
    Some choice.
    Actually, Book, I thinks there’s one issue you’ve missed – the censorship angle.  Why should the Pro-choice have the ability to insist on _anything_ ?   Who and/or what authority do they have to protest against a legitimate paid for ad?   The Pro-Life people are paying for the  ad – it isn’t a public service ad.
    It’s _offensive_ to hear that someone _chose_ to give birth???  Unbelievable.

  • elc

    >>>>>”An ad that uses sports to divide rather than to unite has no place in the biggest national sports event of the year — an event designed to bring Americans together,” said Jehmu Greene, president of the New York-based Women’s Media Center.<<<<<

    Oh, brother.  Does anyone remember back in the 70’s or early 80’s when some feminist academic or group–I don’t recall who it was, they all sound alike–put forth the bogus claim that there was more domestic violence against women on Super Bowl Sunday than on any other day of the year?  Naturally it was reported as fact in numerous news outlets and womens’ magazines. 

    So which is it, ladies?  An event designed to bring Americans together, or a spousal abuse-fest?  Not that it matters.  So many lies over so many years–who can keep track of them all?

  • Charles Martel

    Amen, alc.

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  • Al

    Zombie’s work is pretty impressive.  And he does suggest that official attitudes may be changing. I must agree.
    Thanks for the link, BW

  • Ymarsakar

    The pro-life movement, just from the members that I have met and talked with, are very grassroots orientated. They have been working hard to change perspectives, much as DQ has recommended, but utilizing their very strong beliefs to good propaganda effect.
    One of the better ways to convert people is to get them to change their lifestyle. If you introduce them to guns, your chances go up of a successful viewpoint shift because you aren’t just using words but giving them a different emotional context/experience.

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