Before the Super Bowl even happened last weekend, we all know the public debate over it whipped up into a heated controversy and abortion activists joined forces to contest it and try to have CBS yank the Tim and Pam Tebow ad from the commercial lineup.

So just the leak that it would air generated that media frenzy and very public debate. That’s the beauty of this whole episode, besides exposing the real agenda of what calls itself the ‘pro-choice’ movement as actually ‘pro-abortion’ (which a former Planned Parenthood director who joined the pro-life movement pointed out, from experience). What we want is a public debate, or at least I do. Those who fervently believe that it’s best for women to abort their baby in the womb, if they so choose, should make their best argument for that, based on all their own reasoning. Make a defense for what they believe, and not just argue from emotion using the old fear factor of ‘reverting to back-alley abortions with hanger wires’ or something like that if law reverted to what it was before Roe.

The pro-life movement has been trying to spread awareness over the years that though they were always perceived as concerned only for the baby and not the woman, they are in fact all about what’s best for women and babies and everyone in their families. The proliferation of ‘crisis pregnancy centers’ and ‘pregnancy help centers’ and their success proves that.

The Tebow ad, even before it appeared, provoked a lot of speculation (or bafflement) about whether the pro-life movement had started becoming “more feminist.”

There’s credit to go around here….HuffPo and others were wise and honest in admitting it was a brilliant ad, after all. Pro-life media are picking up on that.

…and the free press the ad earned are leading most observers to say Focus on the Family scored a touchdown by changing hearts and minds and making pro-abortion groups look like polemic extremists.

Even the pro-abortion Huffington Post admitted today that was the case, calling the commercial a “stroke of marketing genius.”

“Completely defusing and disarming all the pre-game hand wringing with a perfect lesson in how to let the media and angry groups of protesters turn a $3M investment into a message delivery system worth 100 times the amount,” the web site noted.

And Frances Kissling, the former president of “Catholics for Choice” admitted to the Los Angeles Times, “These people came across as affectionate, loving, funny and happy.”

Nice. Now we’re talking.

Tim Drake of the National Catholic Register suggests the brilliance of the ad was in the soft message of supporting women in a crisis pregnancy.

“The beauty of the ad, though, is what it does show,” he writes. “Too often, in crisis pregnancies, the young mother is thinking only about the most immediate concerns — her parents, school, work, her future plans. Caught up in the emotion of the moment, and not knowing what to do, too many choose, or are forced, to end their own baby’s life, without thinking 15, 20 or even 30 years into the future. When a woman takes out her own child, through the violence of abortion, she ends the story.”

“Every child has a story. That child will eventually grow up, develop relationships, enter the work world, and have an impact on the world and others. The ad not only shows a grown-up Timmy, but also the love and relationship between Tim and his mother, a relationship that would have ended had Tim been aborted,” he says.”

And it got us thinking this through more. And it got us talking.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....