Wednesday, 08 May 2013

Grocery Chain Denies Pro-life Motive in Poignant Mother's Day Ad

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The Publix grocery store chain has insisted that it had no pro-life motivation in a Mother's Day television commercial that is getting major YouTube play because of its poignant dialogue between a pregnant mom and her young daughter. Nonetheless, it is difficult to ignore the celebration of life in the ad, which was produced last year but which is just now getting the attention it deserves. (You can view the ad in full at the end of this article.)

In the one-minute spot produced especially for Mother's Day, the mom and little girl are in their cheerful kitchen preparing lunch, when the mother suddenly exclaims: “The baby's kicking!” As mom gently lays her daughter's hand on her pregnant tummy to feel the baby moving, she recalls how she used to sing to her daughter and tell her secrets when she was in the womb.

“Do you want to tell her a secret?” the mother asks the daughter, inviting her to whisper to her soon-to-be-born sister. The unforgettable spot concludes with the older sister laying her hands on her mommy's tummy and quietly telling her pre-born kid sister: “You're really going to love mom.”

The ad, which has garnered over 350,000 YouTube views, got the attention of such pro-life people as conservative blogger Michelle Malkin, who tweeted fans to watch the spot: “'You're really going to love mom': Publix Mother's Day ad 'salutes moms & unborn.'” NewsBuster.org alerted its readers to the commercial, calling it a “pro-life ad [that] celebrates pregnancy.” And LifeNews.com announced: “Publix Mother’s Day Commercial Affirms Dignity of Unborn Babies.”

Forbes.com reported that the “powers that be at Publix were shocked and somewhat bemused to learn their ad was being celebrated by the anti-abortion movement.” Publix released a statement through a spokesperson, insisting that there was “no subliminal messaging, no anti-abortion message” intended by the ad. “That was not the intent.” The spokesperson explained that the TV commercial, which is scheduled to run Mother's Day weekend in areas around the country serviced by Publix's nearly 1,000 stores, “is meant to celebrate moms across our operating areas and to celebrate life’s most memorable occasions with Publix and food.”

Secular news sources such as Forbes and BusinessInsider.com labeled the commercial “anodyne” and expressed opaque wonder that it should spark such interest and applause from pro-life and conservative individuals. But Lauren Enriquez, a columnist for LifeNews and a legislative associate for Texas Right to Life, put pro-life interest in the ad in perspective, noting that “TV features a lot of advertisements targeted at moms: household products, family-friendly cars, and grocery stores like Publix. However, advertisements with pregnant women — and those that go out of their way to acknowledge the humanity and dignity of the other person living inside of them — are few and far between.”

Enriquez extended pro-life kudos to Publix, as well as to the makers of Huggies and Tide — who have also featured commercials that celebrate life — thanking them “for taking the road less traveled.”