Virginia Legislature Strips Planned Parenthood Funding From its License Plate Bill

State   Steven Ertelt   Feb 16, 2010   |   9:00AM    WASHINGTON, DC

Virginia Legislature Strips Planned Parenthood Funding From its License Plate Bill

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
February 16
, 2010

Richmond, VA (LifeNews.com) — In what pro-life advocates are hailing as a brilliant legislative move, Virginia lawmakers stripped Planned Parenthood funding from its own bill to sponsor pro-abortion license plates. The plate bill now sends the proceeds from sales of the plate to a state fund that actually helps pregnant women.

Money generated from the sales of the “Trust Women, Respect Choice" license plates was intended to go to the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

When Democrat Delegate Robert Brink brought up the bill, on the House floor in preparation for today’s final vote, the legislation said the Virginia League of Planned Parenthood would receive $15 of the $25 plate fee.

In an interesting turn of events, Delegate Todd Gilbert, a Republican, offered an amendment to the bill to change it so all funding would go to the Virginia Pregnant Women Support Fund — a move that the pro-life Family Forum group describes as a devastating blow to Planned Parenthood.

The Virginia Pregnant Women Support Fund was created in 2007 to “support women and families who are facing unplanned pregnancy” and is managed by the Virginia Board of Health. The goals are far different from Planned Parenthood’s abortion agenda as it provides funding for ultrasound machines, parenting programs, and other support.

Brink urged defeat of the amendment and Delegate David Englin argued that changing the recipient of the funding was unconstitutional, claiming court precedent.

But Victoria Cobb, the president of the Family Foundation, tells LifeNews.com that is a misreading of court decisions saying Planned Parenthood should have a chance at its response to the popular Choose Life license plates.

"Court rulings have said if one viewpoint is allowed on a license plate another viewpoint must also be allowed, but it does not address the funding aspects of the license plates," Cobb explains.

Gilbert responded by saying that the Virginia Pregnant Women Support Fund was a better fit for the language of the plate.

He also pointed out how Planned Parenthood violates its own message of trusting women.

"Delegate Gilbert, citing Planned Parenthood’s opposition to pro-woman legislation including informed consent requirements that do exactly that – trust women – stated that plate funds if directed to Planned Parenthood would not be going to an organization in conformity with the plate’s message," Cobb recounted.

Delegate Gilbert’s floor amendment was accepted on a 56-43 vote and the state House is expected to vote on the bill today.

Related web sites:
Virginia Family Foundation – http://www.familyfoundationblog.com

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