MODESTO -- Pam Tebow, mother of NFL quarterback Tim Tebow, will speak on "Celebrating Life" at the Modesto Pregnancy Center's annual fund-raising banquet in November.
She stirred controversy when she appeared in an ad during the Super Bowl in 2010.
Before the ad was even broadcast, abortion rights supporters went viral, saying the TV network should not have accepted the ad on a controversial subject abortion sponsored by a Christian nonprofit organization, Focus on the Family.
AP - FOCUS ON THE FAMILY
Pam Tebow, pictured with her quarterback son Tim, will talk in November at a Modesto Pregnancy Center fund-raiser in November.
After all the hype, the "critics took a hit," said USA Today, when the ad merely showed Pam Tebow, a "happy mom, talking about her 'miracle' baby Timmy and how he 'almost didn't make it into this world.' She beams, 'He's all grown up now,' then adds, 'with all our family's been through, you have to be tough.' " Then Timmy tackles her, but she pops back up, telling her son, "You're not nearly as tough as I am."
The millions of viewers who followed the ad to Focus' Web site heard more how Pam Tebow was pregnant with her son in the Philippines (her husband, a Baptist pastor, was a missionary there) when she contracted amebic dysentery, which briefly put her in a coma. Doctors feared that the medicine they had given her had damaged her baby and recommended an abortion. Other medical issues arose, such as bleeding from a faulty placenta attachment. But the Tebows his mom; dad, Bob; and four older siblings refused to consider an abortion and instead prayed for a healthy baby. Tim Tebow, small but healthy, was born in 1987, and the family headed back to the United States in the 1990s.
Critics still dispute Pam Tebow's story, saying abortion has been banned in the Philippines since the 1930s. A 2009 story in Sports Illustrated said that argument isn't without merit, but isn't "sufficient to disprove the Tebows' account. The claim is that Pam Tebow's doctors recommended abortion which, if elected, could have been performed in another country where the procedure was legal not that they offered to perform it themselves."
Delores Wolterstorff, chief executive officer of MPC, invited Pam Tebow, "a very warm, personable lady," to speak.
"If she had aborted Tim, look at what the football industry would be missing," Wolterstorff said. "He is one who would say all the glory goes to God. Always, our banquets are: No. 1, God has to be honored; second, that people leave knowing more about Modesto Pregnancy Center; and third, to raise money. We usually also get some volunteers and prayer partners out of it. Without prayers, I couldn't do this work every day."
Although all three Tebow boys were athletic, Tim gained national recognition when he won the 2007 Heisman Trophy as a sophomore at the University of Florida. His undereye patches containing Bible verse references now banned in NCAA play started in 2008 with Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
In 2010, Tim Tebow was drafted in the first round to play for the Denver Broncos.
Last season, he led the Broncos to the AFC West title and a playoff victory, but was maligned over his passing ability. He was traded to the New York Jets and plays this season behind quarterback Mark Sanchez.
Sportswriters and fans are calling for Tebow to be moved to starting quarterback after the Jets' recent 35-0 loss to San Francisco.
Wherever he goes, he's been a magnet for controversy and diverse opinions on everything from his public faith to his football abilities.
If such criticism of her youngest child is hard on his mom, Pam Tebow isn't commenting. A spokesman from the Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association, which oversees the Filipino orphanage begun by the Tebows, as well as other missionary work, said, "Because of all the attention currently being focused on their son Tim, Bob and Pam have decided to not grant any interviews at this time."
But she has spoken in the past on her experiences as a mom, a missionary, a home-school teacher (all five of the Tebow children were home-schooled until they attended college) and an evangelist.
The BTEA Web site said Pam Tebow is "passionate about encouraging women to trust the Lord with all their hearts for all their lives and to use the incredible influence God has given them to eternally impact their world."
The Tebows' two daughters, Christy and Katie, are married with two children each. Their two elder sons, Robby and Peter, are single and engaged in Christian work.