An Amazing Advertisement

I’m in Malaysia this week representing LCMS WR-HC Life Ministries as we finalize details for a grant to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malaysia to start their first pregnancy resource center. Darin Storkson (LCMS WR-HC Director, Asia Region) and I performed a site visit of the proposed center location yesterday.

With a group of over 20 leaders, both clergy and laity, in attendance, we shared a presentation on the work of LCMS World Relief and Human Care as well as Life Ministries; and affirmed our biblical and Lutheran foundation on how we view the various life issues. You’ll be able to read more about this exciting project on the Life Ministries pages in the future.

What I want to share with you is an amazing advertisement in Thursday’s (April 8, 2010) local newspaper, the Sun, which is delivered daily to the hotel where I’m staying. The front page and page 2 are full-page ads for the same thing: a new insurance product called PRUmy child that offers pregnancy and infant coverage, health and education. One tag line is “Comprehensive protection begins before birth“; another states “Protection starts early, even before birth.” The product is being offered by Prudential Assurance Malaysia Berhad, a subsidiary of Prudential plc of the United Kingdom.

The advertisement features Malaysian recording star Sheila Majid. The first page of the ad shows Sheila putting one of her children to bed and the copy reads:

Before you were born, my love for you began. I want to protect my child for as long as I can, starting as soon as I can. Now that’s possible with Prudential’s comprehensive protection plan which starts early, even before birth! Covering health, financial and education security, all your child’s needs are taken care of. When love begins, now protection can too.

Page two of the ad shows Sheila holding an ultrasound picture of one her children and the copy reads thus:

From the moment I saw her, I wanted to protect her. From the moment I first heard her heartbeat, I wanted to be able to keep her safe. And now that’s possible with Prudential’s new plan, comprehensive coverage can begin early, even before birth. And it grows as your child grows, taking care of her health, finance and education. It’s a simple solution to all your child’s needs, from the people who understand.

From Prudential’s product website:

From the moment of conception, this tiny miracle has the power to transform the people around it. Fathers and mothers everywhere find their priorities reordered, goals refocused and their energies centered on ensuring the best for their child.

With this product, you can add an insurance rider to cover congenital conditions for the fetus if the baby is between 18 and 35 weeks into the pregnancy. While it’s not unusual for health insurance companies to cover babies in the womb for congenital conditions (as an example, click here to see Aetna’s policy for fetal surgery in utero), what is most impressive and exciting is the company’s willingness to talk about the baby as a human life from the moment of conception and recognition that the baby in the womb should be loved and protected.

Maybe it’s just me, but…don’t you wonder how long this irrational dichotomy can exist – pregnant women who want their baby know it’s a baby! They want safety and security for their baby! They have love and concern for their baby! Even the insurance companies are savvy enough to know that the preborn baby is a human life, or they wouldn’t be providing a product intended for the protection of that life! And yet, in the US, abortion-on-demand is legal during all nine months of pregnancy and you have organizations like the UN pushing abortion-on-demand worldwide as part of women’s reproductive health care.

Wouldn’t it be great if all insurance companies had the courage to  make such a bold public statement?  I applaud Prudential – I just can’t wait to see an ad like that in the US!

Although the Sun’s online version of the paper doesn’t have the ad, you can click here to go to Prudential’s product website to see a video interview with Sheila. Check back later to see if I’m able to scan the ad and post the ad here.

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