Tell CBS and NFL to scrap Focus on the Family’s anti-choice Superbowl ad!



Rebekah Spicuglia, Media Director
Women’s Media Center
(office) 212-563-0680; (cell) 415-290-2970
[email protected]

Coalition of Progressive Organizations Demand CBS Pull Divisive Anti-Choice Super Bowl Ad

January 26, 2010 (New York, NY) – The Women’s Media Center and united organizations dedicated to reproductive rights, tolerance, and social justice have launched a campaign calling CBS to immediately pull an anti-choice advertisement sponsored by Focus on the Family to air during Super Bowl XLIV.

CBS has a well-documented history of prohibiting advocacy ads it deems controversial, rejecting ads from organizations such as PETA,, United Church of Christ, and even ones that carry only an “implicit” endorsement for a side in a public debate. Last year, NBC made the prudent decision to not air anti-choice messages during the Super Bowl. CBS executives have indicated in the past that they would not air Super Bowl ads where “substantial elements of the community (are) in opposition to one another.”

Focus on the Family is an organization well-known for opposing the equality of Americans based on gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, and reproductive freedom. This ad uses one story to subtly dictate morality to the American public, and encourages women to disregard medical advice, potentially putting their lives at risk. Abortion is a controversial issue and anti-abortion vitriol has resulted in escalated violence against reproductive health service providers and their patients.

“An ad that uses sports to divide rather than to unite has no place in the biggest national sports event of the year – an event designed to bring Americans together regardless of background, faith, ideology or political affiliation,” says Jehmu Greene, President of the Women’s Media Center.

The ad goes against the approximately 70 percent majority American view that reproductive decisions should be left up to a woman and her physician; against the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that such decisions are protected by a constitutionally guaranteed right to privacy; and against the health needs of the 1 in 3 American women who will need an abortion at sometime in her life.

American values of privacy and freedom should be respected, not undermined during the Super Bowl. CBS must take action now, by canceling the airing of Focus on the Family’s anti-choice ad.

To speak with WMC President Jehmu Greene, or to book other experts on health reform, health care politics, or women’s reproductive rights, please contact Rebekah Spicuglia, (212) 563-0680, [email protected].

Coalition partners signed onto the letter to CBS include: Abortion Access Project, ACCESS/Women’s Health Rights Coalition, Women, Action & the Media, Advocates for Youth, Alternet, By Any Media Necessary, California Council of Churches IMPACT, CAMI project, Choice USA, Civil Liberties and Public Policy (CLPP)/Hampshire College, Equality Now, Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF), Feminist Press,

HollabackNYC, Ibis Reproductive Health, Law Students for Reproductive Justice, MAMAPALOOZA!, Media Equity Collaborative, Medical Students for Choice!, Ms. Foundation, New Prospect Family Praise and Worship Center, National Organization for Women (NOW), NOW-NYC, OpEd Project, Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health, Religious Institute, RH Reality Check, Sisterhood is Global, Inc, The White House Project, Third Wave Foundation, Women, Action & the Media (WAM!), Women In Media & News, Women’s Information Network (WIN).

About the Women’s Media Center: The Women’s Media Center is a non-profit organization making women visible and powerful in the media. Its women’s health care campaign is working to ensure that health care is fair, safe, and accessible to all.

Please visit to learn more about our work.


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  1. The sun came up this morning.
    God is great and worthy to be praised.
    HE is still on the throne.

  2. While I agree with you Jane, my only problem is that I haven’t actually SEEN the ad. Now I’ve heard what it is supposedly about, but were the situation reversed and people wanted an ad of mine removed before they had even seen it, I would think that was wrong also.

  3. Have you seen the ad?

  4. Having made five visits to abortionists with five pregnancies, three of which were “voluntarily” aborted, one involving refusal at one facility before performance at another, I am vehemently against abortion. Instead I would like a national population policy that encourages all to have a family of two or three. Care2 gave me a green star for the idea. We need national health insurance, national day care provision and housing assistance. Extremes of wealth and poverty need to go to create a bell curve with the middle class for a strong democracy. The government would support a family of two but not additions. With national health insurance covering IUDs and other care, poor women would not need to suffer aborting, losing or adopting wanted children for lack of support. All could have a family. Believing in communal sin, so to speak, abortion is a sin of the community which includes family, bosses, clergy, neighbors, leaders, co-workers, friends and you. Please assist with leadership to enact this beneficial policy for humanity!

  5. as french i wish a you lot of followers and good luck for your petition fighting against obscurantism! good job! frederique dhenein

  6. Dearest Jane,
    There’s a better way to live and PROMOTE promotion for women in every avenue on the planet.

    It’s not by promoting late term abortions.

    Putting your voice into being a speaker to promote the truths about having the spirit of the living God in us so we can understand the things of God will contribute more to any cause than celebrating a death spirit.

    Jane, you’ve turned your back on the truth???

  7. You’re serious? I remember writing CBS to encourage them TO carry MoveOn’s ad against the war… to no avail, of course.

    I’m aghast that they would carry an ad from Focus of the Family! Even if it were not on abortion rights (or lack thereof) I’d be surprised. Although I know that James Dobson now longer heads the group, I felt that he played to people’s fears and prejudices.

    I am extremely disappointed and will express my feelings to CBS. Gee, I hope I don’t have to give up The Good Wife over this!

    Thanks for the alert.

    PS. Don’t come south this weekend! The weather is going to be awful.

  8. CBS is wrong for that! So they do not run PETA ads or ads from United Church of Christ, but they’re gonna run an ad provided by a homophobic anti-choice organization on the biggest game day of the year, no less?? CBS doesn’t run ads that the community is gonna beef about. They what they say but do they think some members of the largest tv veiwing audience of the year isn’t gonna have something to say about an anti-choice ad? (“CBS executives have indicated in the past that they would not air Super Bowl ads where ‘substantial elements of the community (are) in opposition to one another.’”)Is CBS saying that the majority of the United States community is anit-choice? Wow. Why during the Super Bowl? I wanna see the Saints kick some Indianapolis tail, not be subjected to an ad that counters the fight for Choice. (Whew. Take a breath). Back to my homework.

  9. Dear Jane,

    I’m glad the new year finds you once again stepping up for causes close to your heart.

    I try to channel your verve by wearing my Jane Fonda mug shot tee frequently.

    Tomorrow is my last day at CNN. Yes, even business reporters who talk about downsizing can get downsized!! There’s no such thing as a safe job. Just when I thought I might be getting close to the top of my game, too.

    Thank you so much for all your support. I plan to do some serous skiing over the next few weeks and then take it day by day. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do for you.

    And as for your new exercise video, I say bring back the leg warmers!

    Your fan & friend,


  10. The ad is not offensive. The ad is not a negative ad. The ad is not telling anyone to do have or not have a child.

  11. Thank you for this information! I had heard about the ad and was very upset about it!

  12. I’ve signed the petition. I know CBS is human, and therefore biased, but when they say they do not want to cause political polarization, then they shouldn’t post something that goes on the fence.

  13. I bet you feel really bad about screaming and yelling for TOLERANCE and yet you are extremely INTOLERANT. You scream “CHOICE!” And yet, the only choice you wish to be represented is to abort the children. The ad was great and never mentioned abortion. It did not feed on fear or guilt. If you want choice so dang badly, then why are you vehemently giving women the right to discuss actual choices? Choosing to NOT abort is also a choice, but do you believe in your heart that women should not be allowed to choose that? Are you so afraid of telling women that choice implies an actual decision or do you just want to see more women killing their children? This is what sickens me about the pro-abortion people. They aren’t for choice. They don’t want choices. They are intolerant of anyone who might even slightly suggest that a woman actually choose to keep her baby. If you are pro”choice” then stand proudly next to someone who is pro-life and claim your choice is just that, YOUR CHOICE. Quit trying to force your choice down everyone else’s throats.

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