The Super Bowl is tomorrow, and if you’re anything like me, you’re only watching for the commercials.
Jill Stanek reports that anti-abortion activist Randall Terry has plans to air graphic images of abortion during the Super Bowl in certain markets. (He is technically running for president, to exploit a loophole that requires networks to air campaign ads unedited.) Due to the obvious potential for backlash, the markets for the advertisement have not been announced.
Unlike the Tim Tebow pro-life Super Bowl commercial, which was so bland and unoffensive as to be almost funny– abortion advocates looked ridiculous for having made such a scene over it– this is NOT going to be pretty. The 30-second piece begins with the a voice saying “Warning: Graphic Images Follow.”
Jill appears to be in favor of the ad, while comments on the blog are mixed. I have to politely disagree with Jill; I think this is a terrible idea. It will absolutely do more harm than good. There may be a time and place for graphic images, but the Super Bowl is not it. On top of the concern that young children and post-abortive women will be traumatized– and no, the ad does not include a hotline for post-abortion counseling– the ad is full of fire-and-brimstone religious rhetoric (e.g. if we don’t criminalize abortion, “heaven will judge America.”).
Seeing the ad will only make abortion supporters get angry and defensive. If you are unlucky enough to be in one of Terry’s chosen geographic markets, and are watching the Super Bowl with a mixed pro- and anti-abortion group, I recommend that you turn the TV off the moment you hear the warning. You can explain to your pro-choice friends why you are doing it, and let that begin a kind, thoughtful conversation of the type that actually changes people’s minds.