by Steven Ertelt
June 2, 2006
Indianapolis, IN (LifeNews.com) — The state of Indiana has approved a pro-life group’s efforts to allow residents to purchase Choose Life license plates for their vehicles. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles has not yet approved the final design of the plate, which an association of crisis pregnancy centers requested to raise funds for their efforts to help women.
The Indiana Association of Pregnancy Centers submitted a design that is similar to Choose Life plates in other states. The plate features a yellow background with child-like drawings of two children.
“Every Choose Life license plate sold will have a direct impact in helping women to choose life," Mike Fichter, executive director of Indiana Right to Life, said in a statement obtained by LifeNews.com.
"The centers that will receive funding from plate sales will offer free pregnancy tests, free counseling, and free information on the risks of, and alternatives to, abortion," he said.
Once the final design is approved and motorists are able to purchase the plate, Indiana would become the 14th state to have them. They originated in Florida and have already raised millions of pregnancy centers and adoption efforts in several states.
Last year alone, 45,000 plates were sold or renewed in Florida, raising $845,000 for helping women to find abortion alternatives.
Fichter thinks thousands of residents will purchase the plates there since the state is generally regarded as pro-life.
Russ Amerling, of Choose Life Inc., which helps promote the plates across the country, said he thinks the plates would stand up in court if challenge by pro-abortion groups because they were approved by the state government as opposed to the state legislature backing a bill allowing them.
Betty Cockrum, president of Planned Parenthood of Indiana, agreed.
"Here in Indiana, if everybody has an opportunity to go through the administrative process to get their plates in play, then I think there’s less chance of success in court," she told the Louisville Courier Journal newspaper.
Because the state has an administrative process to approve specialty plates, Cockrum said Planned Parenthood is considering filing an application for pro-abortion license plates.
Fichter thanks Governor Mitch Daniels for supporting the Choose Life plate effort.
“Governor Daniels has allowed Indiana to take a giant step forward in lowering abortion rates by supporting the Choose Life license plate,” Fichter said.