Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Honestly,I think it's verging on petty to be complaining about the Tebow ad because of all the little collateral messages one could read into it, like Rob's concern about only celebrating dramatically successful lives, or Saletan's concern about underplaying the particular risk that Pam Tebow assumed (placental abruption). Rob, Tebow's story makes for a good ad because it's a particularly dramatic telling of the story of the value of all life. (If you want an equally dramatic telling of the story of the value of life for a single mom living in poverty, please, please, please go out and see the movie Precious). The risk of placental abruption that Pam chose to take is potentially dangerous, but it is not irresponsible to share a story of someone taking that risk and having everything come out fine.
No one should underestimate the tremendous amount of pressure put on women to abort pregnancies based on the slightest suggestion of any sort of a risk, to the baby or the mother, whether based on a real physical condition, or the statistical possibility of such a condition. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why -- why should any doctor concerned about litigation not prefer every woman she is treating to "chose" to eliminate any possibility that something might go wrong with the pregnancy? An excellent book with a great introduction documenting some of these pressures, followed by stories of women throughout the world encountering such pressures is Melinda Tankard Reist's Defiant Birth: Women who Resist Medical Eugenics . (Full disclosure: one of the stories is mine; a version of it as originally published in another collection is available here.)
A couple of minutes of having the beer-guzzling masses watching the Game, sandwiched in between ads of bikini-clad women hawking beer, see a dramatic story where a woman assumed such risks and everything came out just fine isn't going to do that much to counter all of that pressure. But God Bless the Tebow's and Focus on the Family for whatever good it does do!