Photo: Florida Gator's Tim Tebow in 2009.
The Florida Gators football star plans to appear in a Super Bowl commercial funded by a Christian values group that critics say will send an anti-abortion message.
The ad, paid for by Focus on the Family, is expected to recount the story of his mother, Pam Tebow's, pregnancy in 1987 with a theme of "Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life."
After getting sick during a mission trip to the Philippines, she ignored a recommendation by doctors to abort her fifth child and gave birth to Tim, who went on to win the 2007 Heisman Trophy while helping the Florida Gators reach two BCS championships.
Photo: Focus on the Family Founder and Chairman James Dobson in 2008.
Abortion rights groups are up in arms.
"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," said Jehmu Greene, president of Women's Media Center, which is protesting the ad with the National Organization for Women, the Feminist Majority and other groups.
The groups have called on CBS, which will broadcast the Super Bowl, to scrap the commercial. So far, CBS isn't budging.
The network said it has approved the script for the 30-second ad and has given no indication that the protest would have an impact. A network spokesman, Dana McClintock, said CBS would ensure that any issue-oriented ad was "appropriate for air."
Tebow defended his participation in the commercial Monday. "That's the reason I'm here," he said, "because my mom is a really courageous woman."
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Should Tebow express his abortion views during the Super Bowl or leave his politics off the field?