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LESSON OF THE TEBOW FAMILY STORY: RESPECT AND TRUST WOMEN TO MAKE IMPORTANT MEDICAL DECISIONS FOR THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILIES

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Monica McCafferty
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Published: | Updated: 02.03.10

DENVER —  Background: It’s been widely reported that the far-right political organization Focus on the Family has purchased time for a 30-second ad during the Feb. 7 airing of the Super Bowl on CBS.  While the details are not yet public, Focus on the Family has said the ad will feature University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother sharing their personal story about a very difficult medical decision made by Pam Tebow to carry her pregnancy to term against medical advice due to what had been diagnosed as a high risk pregnancy. Pam Tebow gave birth to her son Tim, who has just finished a successful college football career at the University of Florida. Reports indicate that the ad won’t have a hard political edge but will draw upon the power of an emotional experience to encourage viewers to oppose abortion. What will likely go unmentioned is Focus on the Family’s position, which is to outlaw legal abortion in the United States, except in rare cases when the woman’s life is severely at risk. 
 
Statement by Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains President & CEO Vicki Cowart
 
“Planned Parenthood respects the ability of every woman to make important personal medical decisions for herself and her family, including the decision by Pam Tebow more than 20 years ago to carry her high-risk pregnancy to term and deliver her son Tim. The Tebows’ story is compelling, and central to it is the fact that we must respect the ability of every woman to make important medical decisions for herself and her family, after receiving counsel from medical professionals, religious leaders, family members, or others she trusts.
 
“The Tebow story underlines what Planned Parenthood has learned from the millions of women doctors and nurses at its health centers have cared for over nearly a century. Women take decisions about their health very seriously. They consider their doctors’ advice, they talk with their loved ones and people they trust, including religious leaders, and they carefully weigh all considerations before making the best decision for themselves and their families. This is true whether it’s a decision about their choice of contraception, specific medical treatments for illnesses like cancer, challenges related to medically complex pregnancies, or any other important health care issue they are considering. 
 
 “If Focus on the Family, the sponsor of the ad about the Tebow family, has its way, millions of women would no longer be able to make important personal medical decisions for themselves and their families when it comes to abortion. Focus on the Family’s long-stated goal is to outlaw abortion except in rare cases when the woman’s life is severely at risk. This is an extreme position, which would rob every woman of the ability to make important personal medical decisions for herself and her family.
 
“In addition to opposing a woman’s ability to make important medical decisions for herself, Focus on the Family also opposes commonsense comprehensive sex education and life-saving stem cell research. The agenda of this organization is far outside the mainstream of American life.
 
“Planned Parenthood urges all Americans to ponder the true meaning of the Tebow family’s experience — one in which a woman was presented with medical and moral considerations and made a deeply personal decision in private without government interference. That is exactly what we want every woman to be able to do when she must make important and highly personal medical decisions.”

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Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains
Since 1916, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains has been committed to providing affordable, high quality reproductive health care and teaching comprehensive, medically accurate and age-appropriate sex education.  It is the organization’s goal to ensure that every individual has the information, services and freedom to make healthy, responsible decisions about sex and their sexuality.  More than 123,000 women, men and young adults annually visit our 29 health centers throughout Colorado, New Mexico, Southern Nevada and Wyoming.  For more information about Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, call 1.800.230.PLAN or visit pprm.org for the health center nearest you.
 

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