Former Minnesota Vikings football player Sean James and former Olympic Gold Medalist Al Joyner appear in a video created by Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) focusing on "respect for women’s choices." Joyner is the brother of Olympic track star Jackie Joyner-Kersee.
The men, both of whom have gone on from sports career to become successful in business, speak to the strengths of the women in their lives and their respect for women’s choices, "sharing their own thoughts about sports, families, and the importance
of personal decision-making."
In the video, James, referring to the CBS-Focus on the Family ad featuring Pam and Tim Tebow, says "I respect and honor Mrs. Tebow’s decision."
"My mom showed me that women are strong and wise," says James.
She taught me that only women can make the best decisions about their health and their future.
And Joyner follows by stating "I want my daughter to live in a world where everyone’s decision is respected."
"My dauther will always be my little girl," continues Joyner.
But I am proud of her everyday as I watch her grow up to be her own person, a smart, confident young woman. I trust her to take care of herself.
"We’re working toward the day when every woman will be valued; where every woman’s decision about her health and her family will be trusted and respected," said James.
"We celebrate our families by supporting our mothers, by supporting our daughters," says Joyner.
"By trusting women."
In releasing the video, Planned Parenthood of America President Cecile Richards stated that PPFA "respects the ability of every woman to make important personal medical decisions for herself and her family, including the decision by Pam Tebow more than 20 years ago to carry her high-risk pregnancy to term and deliver her son Tim."
The Tebows’ story is compelling, and central to it is the fact that we must respect the ability of every woman to make important medical decisions for herself and her family, after receiving counsel from medical professionals, religious leaders, family members, or others she trusts.
Moreover, she continued,
The Tebow story underlines what Planned Parenthood has learned from the millions of women doctors and nurses at its health centers have cared for over nearly a century. Women take decisions about their health very seriously. They consider their doctors’ advice, they talk with their loved ones and people they trust, including religious leaders, and they carefully weigh all considerations before making the best decision for themselves and their families. This is true whether it’s a decision about their choice of contraception, specific medical treatments for illnesses like cancer, challenges related to medically complex pregnancies, or any other important health care issue they are considering.
Ironically, notes Richards:
If Focus on the Family, the sponsor of the ad about the Tebow family, has its way, millions of women would no longer be able to make important personal medical decisions for themselves and their families when it comes to abortion. Focus on the Family’s long-stated goal is to outlaw abortion except in rare cases when the woman’s life is severely at risk. This is an extreme position, which would rob every woman of the ability to make important personal medical decisions for herself and her family.
“In addition to opposing a woman’s ability to make important medical decisions for herself, Focus on the Family also opposes commonsense comprehensive sex education and life-saving stem cell research. The agenda of this organization is far outside the mainstream of American life.
Planned Parenthood urges all Americans to ponder the true meaning of the Tebow family’s experience — one in which a woman was presented with medical and moral considerations and made a deeply personal decision in private without government interference. That is exactly what we want every woman to be able to do when she must make important and highly personal medical decisions.”