Choose Life License Plates

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SC Choose Life.jpg

Choose Life License Plates are available in 24 states that enable owners to choose to support life on their automobile license plates.[1] This type of license plate, which has long been available on other topics such as the environment, is known as a "specialty" license plate.

Pro-abortion groups, such as the National Organization of Women, have fought against the right of drivers to have "choose life" license plates, and sued to stop them in some jurisdictions. The Fifth Circuit held in favor of choose life license plates in Henderson v. Stalder. The state of Virginia has become the 24th state to adopt Choose Life plates.

Contents

History

The Choose Life movement began as an idea by County Commissioner Randy Harris in Florida, who proposed this approach as a way to raise money for women in crisis pregnancies in 1996. Florida Democratic Governor Lawton Chiles vetoed legislation authorizing these plates in 1998, but his successor Republican Jeb Bush signed it into law in 1999. Now 17 states – over one-third of the nation – offer “Choose Life” license plates. Missouri is one of 5 states, along with Arizona, Illinois, New Jersey and New York, which are fighting this issue in the courts.

States where displayed

Tennessee

Tennessee's "Choose Life" tag

According to the Department of Revenue, $15.38 of each plate sold is allocated to New Life Resources, where it is used for financial assitance and counseling for pregnant women, as well as adoption and other services geared towards struggling families [1].

The plate was approved after a lengthy battle between the Tennessee Right To Life organization and groups and individuals who sued with the assistance of the American Civil Liberties Union. Part of their arguments in court was the complaint that Tennessee did not offer an opposing viewpoint expressed on a plate. [2][3] An attempt to create a specific "pro-choice" license plate actually failed in the state legislature in 2002. [4]

References

  1. ‘Choose Life’ License Plates Approved in 24 States CNSNews, April 17, 2009
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