Famed womens’ rights campaigner and powerhouse attorney Gloria Allred has joined the ever growing hoard of people angered at the CBS network’s decision to allow an pro life ad to air during the upcoming Super Bowl on February 7th.
In an exclusive interview with RadarOnline.com Allred shares that she is outraged by CBS and fears that the motivation for money has far outweighed any commitment to truth and any duty to upholding advertising standards.
The ad, featuring college football player and devout Christian, Tim Tebow, and his mother Pam, is funded by Focus on the Family, a conservative Christian organization that places emphasis on marriage and parenthood.
In the controversial ad, Pam reportedly shares the story of her difficult 1987 pregnancy which occurred when she was working as a missionary in the Philippines. In her harrowing tale she says she fell ill with amoebic dysentery while pregnant and was treated with robust antibiotics, which she says doctors told her had caused fetal damage, prompting them to urge her to terminate her pregnancy, but she refused their advice that she have an abortion for her own safety. Going on to give birth to Tebow, the now-famous quarterback who went on to become a Heisman Trophy winner, leading the Gators to two BCS wins.
In her exclusive interview with RadarOnline.com Allred slams the ad and CBS’s decision to air it, pointing out factual inconsistencies with Pam’s story. One glaring one is the fact that the act of abortion is totally illegal in the majority Catholic country of the Philippines – under all circumstances including rape and incest, and even without a provision in the circumstance that the mother’s life is in danger. The law has been in effect since 1930.
Allred says she believes it an impossible scenario to believe that Philippino doctors would of ever suggested abortion as a viable option for Tebow in the first place. And when you learn that physicians and midwives who perform abortions in the Philippines face six years in prison, and may have their licenses suspended or revoked, and that women who receive abortions – no matter the reason – may be punished with imprisonment for two to six years, it’s easy to see why.
Allred shares an open letter she has written to Les Moonves, the President and CEO of the CBS Corporation, where she urges him to re-think his decision to air the controversial ad, and questions his decision in light of the fact that CBS have turned down other advocacy ads in the past.
It’s a shocking turn around on policy for the network, who in 2004, were criticized by many liberal organizations for rejecting an ad by the United Church of Christ highlighting the UCC’s welcoming stance toward gays and others who might feel shunned by more conservative churches. CBS cited at the time their strict “no advocacy in advertising” policy. Something that has obviously changed for some unapparent reason.
Allred asks Moonves to get a clear grasp of the correct and true facts in this case, and asks if he will still air the anti-choice commercial “if it turns out to be misleading advertising”.
The attorney goes on to urge Moonves to think carefully on this matter, stating, “This is not just another ad. Women’s lives are at stake. No woman should have to live in a country where abortion is illegal as it once was in the U.S. And was and is in the Philippines.”
She says that she hopes she never sees the ad on air, but if she does she “hopes that the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission will be watching it and evaluating it for misleading advertising too.”
Allred warns, “If this ad airs and fails to disclose that abortions were illegal at the time Ms. Tebow made her “choice”, then I intend to file a formal complaint of misleading advertising with those federal commissions.”
On a final note Allred says that she hopes that if any of the women that watch the ad are in the position of evaluating their own pregnancy options, that they “get all the facts before you make a decision. Don’t let any other person influence you. You are going to live with the consequences of that choice for the rest of your life. Make sure it’s your choice and you feel confident you can live with that choice for the rest of your life.”