I’ve gone back and forth about whether I want to blog about the Superbowl ad. It’s been talked about so much. It seems like it has been done to death.
And yet, it scares the heck out of me when I see ads like this. I find myself wanting to say something. I’m no different than Pam Tebow, but I made a different choice.
Over 2 years ago, I used to read a blog. One day the blogger posted that “reproductive rights make her sick”. It was during the 2008 election, and lots of you will remember that “the first thing I would do comment”.
Anyway, that was fine. There was the usual lively debate, and no one wanted to see anyone elses’s side and that was the usual awfulness. And I waded in and commented that things aren’t always black and white and sometimes there are no good choices. And I got this back:
I’ve read of many mothers that were told their baby would be fatal to them, who decided to trust in God’s providence and ended up having a healthy pregnancy and birth–both mother and child alive. I always think about that…how often is it *really* fatal?
I stopped reading the blog. I’ve never read it again. This was not a safe place for me to be, so I absented myself. I cut myself off, and prayed/hoped that this was an isolated mindset.
The problem with writing about the Superbowl ad is that I can’t be neutral – this is not idle discussion for me. When someone who knows nothing about me and nothing about what happened, tells me to trust in God’s providence, insisting that untreated pre-eclampsia might not be fatal, that affects me. It says something about who I am, and the choices I make. When they use their lack of knowledge to try and change laws, they put my life at risk. I can’t be silent. I won’t stay still.
Focus on the Family, having spent roughly 2.5 million dollars on this ad, say that they are “trying to celebrate life and family”. I think most people will be up refilling the sour cream for the nachos when it airs. I think lots of people will roll their eyes. Some will shout amen.
And a very small group of us, a desperately small group – will sit with empty arms, and we will think of signing consents, we will think of monitors beeping, crash c-sections, ultrasounds describing situations to terrible to picture. We will remember that room, those choices. We will be in that place, and we will remember: the words, the nod. We will bite our lip and we will wonder.
Let me tell you the truth about being a dead baby mum, one who had to chose which life to save. It does not matter that pre-eclampsia is relentless. It doesn’t matter that my blood pressure was 220/110, it doesn’t matter that my kidneys were not functioning, it doesn’t matter that my platelets were dropping like a rock. It doesn’t matter that the chief neonatologist came to my hospital room, my chart in his hand and told us that we were making the right call. It doesn’t matter that they told my husband and mother that I was going to die. I will never quite believe I made the best choice I could.
I’d like to believe that the commenter above was just stupid. I’d like to call her some kind of crazy, and tell her to sell crazy some place else. I’d like to think that rational people don’t think this way. Except Focus on the Family is selling crazy on national TV. They are selling stupid, and if you believe that doctors tell women to end pregnancies for no reason, you’re buying crazy.
You know what will happen on Sunday? More people will see Pam Tebow stand up and proclaim that she! was! faithful! and her baby! didn’t! die!
She was faithful. More than that, – far more than that – in a way that she will never – never ever -know, she was lucky. She beat the odds. That’s a good thing, a great thing and a blessed thing. It’s not the thing you fight abortion on. And until all women beat the odds, there is no more placental abruption, there is no more anencephaly, there is no more pre-eclampsia, there is no more infection, I’m not sure it’s something we should celebrate. Why are we celebrating luck when there is still work to do? We aren’t done yet. Not everyone gets to celebrate life and family.
The people watching and shouting amen will believe, just a bit more, in an unreasonable definition of faith over fact and science. They will call luck, religion. They won’t demand an end to perinatal death. They will look at me, and question if I *really* would have died.
That’s selling crazy. And I’m worried that it is catching.