Former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow will star in a pro-life television commercial that is expected to air during the Super Bowl. CBS has given preliminary approval for the ad paid for by Focus on the Family.
Tebow, an outspoken evangelical Christian, has a unique take on the abortion issue. His mother, Pam, contracted amoebic dysentery during her pregnancy with Tim in 1987. The advice from doctors -- abort the baby -- but she refused and later gave birth to the future Heisman Trophy winner.
"I'm here because my mom was a very courageous woman," Tebow told The Palm Beach Post. His mother will also appear in the ad and they will share their story.
"Tim and Pam share our respect for life and our passion for helping families thrive," said Jim Daly, president and CEO of Focus on the Family. He said the Tebows message is uplifting and "comes at the right moment in the culture because families need to be inspired."
The proposed ad has generated widespread outrage. Several thousand people have joined a Facebook page urging CBS to pull the ad.
The issues-based ad is already generating controversy among pro-choice bloggers and some sports writers who argue the Super Bowl is no place for political commentary.
Gregg Doyel, whose column appears online for CBS, said Super Bowl Sunday is "not a day to discuss abortion. For it, against it, I don't care what you are."

Critics on Huffington Post labeled Tebow a "Jesus freak," self-righteous and a religious nut. A blogger on BeliefNet called the advertisement distasteful. And yet another said it was "offensive."

The New York Times wondered if viewers would "take issue with issue advertising during the Super Bowl."

Tebow said he's not surprised by the outcry.

"I know some people won't agree with it, but I think they can at least respect that I stand up for what I believe, and I'm never shy about that," Tebow told The Palm Beach Post. "I don't feel like I'm very preachy about it, but I do stand up for what I believe. Unfortunately, in today's society not many athletes tend to do that. So I'm just standing up for something."

The 30-second ad, believed to have cost Focus as much as $2.8 million, was paid for by "very generous and committed friends."

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Todd Starnes is a reporter for FOX News Radio and a best-selling author. Be sure to get your copy of "They Popped My Hood and Found Gravy on the Dipstick" by clicking here.