Example: [Collected via e-mail, January 2012]
Doctors urged her to abort the baby for her own safety and told her that the medicines had caused irreversible damage to her baby. She refused the abortion and cited her Christian faith as the reason for her hope that her son would be born without the devastating disabilities physicians predicted.
While pregnant, Pam nearly lost their baby four times but refused to consider abortion. She recalled making a pledge to God with her husband: "If you will give us a son, we'll name him Timothy and we'll make him a preacher."
Pam ultimately spent the last two months of her pregnancy in bed and eventually gave birth to a healthy baby boy
The University of Florida's star quarterback became the first sophomore in history to win college football's highest award, the Heisman Trophy. His current role as quarterback of the Denver Broncos has provided an incredible platform for Christian witness. As a result, he is being called The
Tim's notoriety and the family's inspiring story have given Pam numerous opportunities to speak on behalf of women's centers across the country. Pam Tebow believes that every little baby you save matters. I pray her tribe will increase!
Origins: For those who don't follow American football, Tim Tebow was a standout quarterback at the University of Florida from
Tim Tebow's displays of religiosity have prompted the creation of a couple of eponyms associated with him. During his college years, Tebow often inscribed
Tim's entry into the world was not an easy one. His parents, Bob and Pamela Tebow, met when they were both University of Florida students in the late 1960s, went on their first date a year later, and married three years later. In 1985 the Tebows, already the parents of four children, moved to the Philippines to serve as Christian Baptist missionaries, where in late 1986 Pamela became pregnant with the couple's fifth child. However, when Pamela suffered a life-threatening infection due to a pathogenic amoeba, the drugs she was treated with resulted in a severe placental abruption. According to an account Pamela Tebow provided to the Gainesville Sun in 2007, her doctors expected that her child would not survive and recommended an abortion to avoid endangering her own life:
"We started praying for Timmy by name, and then we got pregnant so we just felt like God had a special plan for him," she said.
But while their prayers were answered, the pregnancy proved difficult from the beginning.
Just before her pregnancy, Pam fell into a coma after contracting amoebic dysentery, a bacteria transmitted through contaminated drinking water. During her recovery, she received a series of strong medications. And even though she discontinued the regimen when she discovered the pregnancy, doctors told Pam the fetus had been damaged.
Doctors later told Pam that her placenta had detached from the uterine wall, a condition known as placental abruption, which can deprive the fetus of oxygen and nutrients. Doctors expected a stillbirth, Pam said, and they encouraged her to terminate the pregnancy.
"They thought I should have an abortion to save my life from the beginning all the way through the seventh month," she recalled.
Pam said her decision to sustain the pregnancy was a simple one — because of her faith.
"We were grieved," she said. "And so my husband just prayed that if the Lord would give us a son, that he would let us raise him."
In her seventh month of pregnancy, Pam traveled to the country's capital, Manila, where she received around-the-clock care from an American-trained physician.
For the next two months, Pam — steadfastly praying for a healthy child — remained on bed rest.
And on her due date — Aug. 14, 1987 — Pam gave birth to Timothy Richard Tebow, who she described as "skinny, but rather long."
"We were concerned at first because he was so malnourished, but he definitely made up for it," she said, between laughs. Today Tim stands at a solid 6'3" and
Nonetheless, the controversy prompted critics to question Pam's story, maintaining (as in the following example) that doctors in the Philippines were unlikely to have counseled her to seek an abortion, as the procedure has long been illegal in the Philippines:
It [is] an impossible scenario to believe that Philippino [sic] doctors would have ever suggested abortion as a viable option for Tebow in the first place. And when you learn that physicians and midwives who perform abortions in the Philippines face six years in prison, and may have their licenses suspended or revoked, and that women who receive abortions — no matter the reason — may be punished with imprisonment for two to six years, it's easy to see why.
Ultimately, the issue was a private matter between Pamela Tebow and her doctors which (absent additional information) doesn't lend itself to independent verification, so we can't make any definitive statement about what she might or not not have been advised.
Last updated: 8 January 2012
Crary, David. "Tim Tebow Super Bowl Ad: Women's Groups Pressure CBS." The Huffington Post. 25 January 2010. Dodd, Patton. "Tim Tebow: God's Quarterback." The Wall Street Journal. 10 December 2011. Richardson, Suzy A. "Coaching Character." The Gainesville Sun. 7 October 2007. Tebow, Tim. Through My Eyes. New York: Harper, 2011. ISBN 0-062-00728-9. The Huffington Post. "Tim Tebow, Mother's Super Bowl Ad to 'Celebrate Life'." 16 January 2010. Radar. "Gloria Allred Threatens CBS for Allowing Tim Tebow Anti-Abortion Super Bowl Ad." 29 January 2010.