In conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon, a pro-life group released a new ad with the support of retired astronauts.
Promoting the "potential" of every human life, the new CatholicVote.org television ad launched in Houston and is beginning to spread on the Web.
"The courage and dedication of the astronauts aboard Apollo 11, and hundreds of others involved in our nation's space program make me proud of our great country," Dr. Joseph Kerwin, the first American doctor in space with Skylab 2, said at a press briefing last week.
"But most importantly, the achievements of the space program remind me of the potential of every human life," added Kerwin, who was joined by retired astronaut Dr. Bill Thornton and Gene Kranz, NASA flight director for the Apollo 13 mission.
"This historic anniversary is a perfect opportunity to show America, and the world, the power of every human life."
The ad opens with an ultrasound stating, "At 5 weeks, his heart will beat," and continues with "at 9 weeks, his feet will form" and "at 80 weeks, he will take his first step."
Then with footage of Neil Armstrong taking his first steps on the moon, the ad concludes stating "at 2,024 weeks ... Life: Imagine the Potential."
Monday marks the 40th anniversary of Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin becoming the first men to land on the moon.
"Neil Armstrong will go down in history as one of the greatest explorers. His long journey to the moon started, as each of us started, with a small kick in our mother's womb," said Brian Burch, president of CatholicVote.org. "Today, we salute the astronauts of Apollo 11 and all other brave pioneers who give meaning to the potential of every human life."
The Apollo ad is the third in the "Life: Imagine the Potential" series, which launched earlier this year.
The first "Imagine" ad featuring President Barack Obama was rejected by major television networks CNN and NBC but still drew more than 1.6 million views on YouTube. Picturing the ultrasound of an unborn baby, it states, "This child's future is a broken home; he will be abandoned by his father; his single mother will struggle to raise him; despite the hardships he will endure; this child will become the 1st African American president."
CNN told Burch in a letter that they were rejecting the ad because CNN "doesn't accept advocacy ads that portray personal decisions in a manner that suggests a position in favor of the advocacy message, without having permission of the persons involved," according to LifeSiteNews.
Burch argued that the ad does not suggest that Obama is pro-life and that CNN has accepted advocacy ads that have imputed positions to individuals without their position.
CatholicVote.org's second "Imagine" ad features famous faces including Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton, Nancy Reagan, Tim McGraw, Sarah McLachlan, and Steve Jobs and asks what they all have in common. They were all adopted, the ad promotes.
In the first 24 hours of its launch, the Apollo 11 ad had 15,000 views on YouTube. Commenters have called the ads inspiring and powerful.
Kerwin has urged pro-life supporters to "saturate" the Internet this week with the Apollo 11 ads to convey the message to millions.
"May we never cease to marvel at the gift, and potential of every human life," he said.