Choice is Empowering

The Superbowl ad guaranteed to get the most media exposure this year won't feature animated animals or boner pills. It'll be the Focus on the Family ad featuring Tim Tebow and his mom talking about how wonderful it was that she didn't follow her doctor's advice when and terminate her pregnancy. And you know something? That's a nice story. I'm glad it worked out for them. I don't like CBS's hypocrisy on accepting what is unquestionably a political ad when in previous years they've turned down ads from MoveOn and the United Churches of Christ for the same reason, but that's another discussion. The economy is worse this year than it was then (mainly because we're paying for that bubble right now), so maybe CBS was having problems finding takers for the spot. I'm feeling generous for some reason--probably has something to do with the Saints being in the Superbowl.

Anyway, there's been some blowback about the ad, and not just among liberal bloggers and pundits. CBS Sports' Gregg Doyel about blew a gasket over the ad, not so much because of the content, but because CBS is breaking its rule and airing a political commercial during the Superbowl. He wants it to be as commercial and apolitical as possible, and I think he's right. The commenters who gave him flack said that abortion isn't a political issue, to which I can only snort derisively while extending both middle fingers at the screen. Do you have any idea how hard it is to type a reply while doing that?

And of course, Sarah Palin had to weigh in, via Facebook, because that what all the kids are talking with, too. Also. She's mad at NOW for protesting the ad, and says so in her own inimitable way:

What a ridiculous situation they're getting themselves into now with their protest of CBS airing a pro-life ad during the upcoming Super Bowl game. The ad will feature Heisman trophy winner Tim Tebow and his mom, and they'll speak to the sanctity of life and the beautiful potential within every innocent child as Mrs. Tebow acknowledges her choice to give Tim life, despite less than ideal circumstances. Messages like this empower women! This speaks to the strength and commitment and nurturing spirit within women. The message says everything positive and nothing negative about the power of women - and life.
Bolding mine. Notice the contradiction. Mrs. Tebow chose to extend her pregnancy while risking her long term health, and perhaps her own life. It wasn't forced on her by laws which restrict womens' options. And why was she able to make that choice? Because of groups like NOW which fought to empower women to be able to make it.

The extent to which Mrs. Tebow is a hero for taking her pregnancy to term is directly related to the fact that she had a choice in the matter. If abortion is illegal across the board, then there's no heroism here--there's only obedience to the law. And there's the tragedy of every woman who wasn't as fortunate as Mrs. Tebow and wound up dead as a result. If you don't have choices, it's because you don't have power--your decisions are being dictated to you by others. Sarah Palin has to know that on some level--she's not that thick.

Anti-choice groups can't have it both ways. If women are heroes for choosing to have babies, whether in difficult circumstances or not, then that means they have to actually have a choice in the matter. This is why pro-choice people argue that the abortion debate isn't about babies at all--it's about power. It's about allowing women to actually have the power to make choices about their health and their futures. So when pro-life groups talk about the courageous choices women have made in having their babies, remember, no choice = no power. Choice = power.

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