The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

A pro-choice writer plays defense for Tebow

And does it devastatingly well.

This piece on the Tim Tebow pro-life Super Bowl ad speaks for itself:

PH2010020103496.jpg I’m pro-choice, and Tebow clearly is not. But based on what I’ve heard in the past week, I’ll take his side against the group-think, elitism and condescension of the “National Organization of Fewer and Fewer Women All The Time.” For one thing, Tebow seems smarter than they do.


Tebow’s 30-second ad hasn’t even run yet, but it already has provoked “The National Organization for Women Who Only Think Like Us” to reveal something important about themselves: They aren’t actually “pro-choice” so much as they are pro-abortion. Pam Tebow has a genuine pro-choice story to tell. She got pregnant in 1987, post-Roe v. Wade, and while on a Christian mission in the Philippines, she contracted a tropical ailment. Doctors advised her the pregnancy could be dangerous, but she exercised her freedom of choice and now, 20-some years later, the outcome of that choice is her beauteous Heisman Trophy winner son, a chaste, proselytizing evangelical.

Pam Tebow and her son feel good enough about that choice to want to tell people about it. Only, NOW says they shouldn’t be allowed to. Apparently NOW feels this commercial is an inappropriate message for America to see for 30 seconds, but women in bikini selling beer is the right one. I would like to meet the genius at NOW who made that decision. On second thought, no, I wouldn’t.


Read the rest. Really.

H/T to Fran, who is always one step ahead of me! :-)

Comments read comments(11)
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Fran Rossi Szpylczyn

posted February 2, 2010 at 9:19 am

Thanks for the H/T. In the name of full disclosure, I have not been a fan of Tebow in general. I would have to also say, if I am completely honest, that I have had issues with men’s opinions and beliefs about abortion.
That being the case, I have had occasion to recently speak to another man whose mother actively chose to keep him during her very youthful pregnancy. I was deeply moved by his witness to life as a result and it helps me to see Tebow in a new and more positive light.
As someone who has had a long journey on this topic, I will say that willingness of parties on either side to be open to discussion is important. Not to say that you will “change” your mind, but to hear other peoples’ stories of why they do and do not take certain life stances.
Honestly, I think of people really thought deeply about when life begins, they would have to confront difficult feelings – and I mean that for people on both sides of the divide.
To the column – what a great witness for seeing the fullness of an issue.
Thanks Deacon Greg.

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Paul Smith

posted February 2, 2010 at 11:25 am

Please look at my blog and see if you want to promote it.
going deeper (above) is for teens to ask questions about the faith anonymously.

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St. Louisan For Life

posted February 2, 2010 at 11:39 am

As a fetus that survived — my life began at the moment of conception — my voice was not heard upon birth — but near to my second anniversary on this fine earth. Had I been able to speak — either at birth — or while in the womb — I would tell you that it is my life — and that it is my right to exist — and not at the discretion of the individual whom (I am beholden to) carried me to term.
The Tebow message is affirmative — is promotes life — not death — it speaks to the miracle that can be gained from assuming risk — and the accompanying magnificence that an individual — and his mother — have realized after such a difficult decision had been made.
I question any organization that discourages the promotion of life — or that defines it as only once the umbilical cord has been tied and cut.

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McKinnon Johnstone

posted February 2, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Tebow is a “hero” in the truest sense of the word. Additional honor should be given for his courageous decision to stand fast in the faith while baring his most private info before the world. However there will be a day when every soul past and present will stand at the judgement seat while Tebow calls their final play. My prayer is that they hear Christ voice before the game is over!
Repent! Was the first words uttered by John The Baptist and Jesus to all who would hear their voice! The time draweth nigh…….. call on his name for forgiveness!

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posted February 2, 2010 at 7:35 pm

Its interesting that the article you excerpt mentions that Pam Tebow was in the Philippines while pregnant. This is important because abortion is completely illegal in the Philippines, a doctor even suggesting someone get an abortion there is illegal (this ban on abortion is abosolute, even in cases of rape, incest and even if the mother’s life is in danger). So Tebow’s story of being pressured to get an abortion and chosing not to is pretty much a lie. She had no option to get an abortion and no doctor there would have suggested it as they could have been arrested for doing so. This law has been in effect in the Philippines since 1930. Its clear that her whole story is a fabrication, or at least an exaggeration, she’s popularizing in order to further her own religious/political agenda.

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Deacon Greg Kandra

posted February 2, 2010 at 8:36 pm

As a few people have noted, no where has it been said that a doctor suggested Pam Tebow get an abortion in the Philippines. As an American citizen, she could have easily returned to the US to have the procedure done there.
You can read more right here.

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posted February 2, 2010 at 9:02 pm

Except that as sick as she was flying back to the US (a long flight from the Philippines) could have had its own complications. If the situation with her pregnancy was as bad as is made out, why would she have remained in the Philippines anyway, why wouldn’t she have come home and found better medical care? The fact remains that nothing in what you link specifically offers proof that anyone was urging her to return to the US for an abortion either, so we don’t know either way where she was being told to have an abortion. All we do know is that she was vey far from the US, not in much condition to travel apparently and in a country where abortions were 100% illegal.

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Deacon Greg Kandra

posted February 2, 2010 at 9:19 pm

If you scroll down to the comments below the article that I linked to, you’ll read an item that notes that abortions may be performed under exceptional circumstances in the Philippines to save the life of the mother. It also notes that prosecutions for performing abortions in that country are very rare. Details below:
Grounds on which abortion is permitted:
To save the life of the woman Yes
To preserve physical health No
To preserve mental health No
Rape or incest No
Foetal impairment No
Economic or social reasons No
Available on request No
Although the Penal Code does not list specific exceptions to the general prohibition on abortion, under the general criminal law principles of necessity as set forth in article 11(4) of the Code, an abortion MAY BE LEGALLY PERFORMED to save the pregnant woman’s life.
In addition to these provisions, the Constitution of 1987 provides that the State “shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception”. This provision reinforces the provision contained in a Presidential Decree of 1975 establishing the Child and Youth Welfare Code, which stipulates that a child has the dignity and worth of a human being from the moment of conception and has the right to be born well.

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posted February 3, 2010 at 9:54 am

To me, it is clear that it is _not clear_ that one has the right to an abortion when their life is in danger in the Philippines. The law is poorly written but it was intended to be that way. The right person with the right amount of money can easily see to it that this nuance of Filipino abortion law is interpreted to their liking. Shortcomings in reproductive rights in the Philippines are easy to recognize for those without means, no need to dwell on the country’s exceptionally high rate of illegal and dangerous abortions, the lack of contraceptives and its exploding population, the death of the ‘RH bill’ abandoned by all the presidentiables, including Noynoy. I would recommend a trip to the Philippines for any American who wants to see the awesome power that Catholic dogma can have on a country when it is fully applied.
…and who is this Tebow fellow anyway. What does he believe in? I find it particularly offensive that his father’s orphanage website states, “The Philippines, a country comprised of over 7,100 islands, has historically been an area of abuse and conquest. Of the 86 million Filipinos, we estimate that over 65 million have never once heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
In other words, the large Catholic majority of the Philippines isn’t Christian by Tebow’s account. I wonder if this belief applies to Catholics here in the US also. He doesn’t point out who the has done the “abuse and conquest” but that language clearly points to Spain and the Church. The website goes on to point out the particulars of their own belief system; they appear to be fundamentalist and Baptist, but they are a little shy about coming out and saying so.

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posted February 3, 2010 at 2:48 pm

I am pro-Choice, gay, and staunchly ex-Catholic, but I will watch the ad during the Super Bowl. It’s a great human interest story. The one strong objection I have is that it’s being used for corporate advertising by a group that sponsored Colorado Amendment II, which denied gays and lesbians access to the courts and the political system in ANY case of private or state-sponsored discrimination.
The majority opinion of the court said that approval of this law would be as infamous as the Dred Scott decision, which denied constitutional protections to slaves and there descendants, whether free or not.
The Focus on Family, which worked closely with CBS on this ad ( ) is no better than the White Citizen’s Council trying to rescind the citizenship of a group defined by an innate (or at least unchosen) characteristic.

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Franklin Jennings

posted February 3, 2010 at 4:11 pm

That was a top-notch job of distorting Amendment 2 there! Impressive!!! But, while your powers of exageration may be second to none, I fear such hyperventilating rhetorical excess merely reinforces certain stereotypes about drama queens.

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