Ohio Pro-Life Groups Push for Choose Life License Plate
by Paul Nowak
October 27, 2003
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Ohio may become the latest state to offer a “Choose Life” license plate to its residents, under a bill currently in the state House.
HB 129, introduced by Rep. Ron Young (R-Leroy) would allow for the creation of "Choose Life" specialty plates to be offered by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Similar specialty plates are currently offered to benefit non-profit groups in Ohio, including universities and wildlife protection services.
Ohio Choose Life Coordinator Beth Sidel told LifeNews.com the proceeds of the “Choose Life” plates in Ohio will be concentrated on adoption-related services.
The bill is still in the Ohio House Transportation & Public Safety Committee, but after four hearings on the bill, no opponents have come forward to testify against it.
This is Ohio’s second attempt at offering a “Choose Life” plate. Rep. Young had introduced HB 88 in the 2001-2002 session, which would have created a similar plate with fund going to a group of crisis pregnancy centers. Ohio NARAL testified against the bill, criticizing the centers. The committee chairman serving at the time refused to bring the bill to a vote.
Due to term limits, there is a new chairman for the committee, and according to Ohio Right to Life he appears more supportive of the bill.
“The bill is believed to have the support necessary to pass the committee and the full House,” Mark Lally, Legislative Counsel for Ohio Right to Life told LifeNews.com.
While no opponents have stepped forward in Ohio, pro-abortion groups in other states and on a national level have criticized the “Choose Life” movement.
"[The “Choose Life” plate is] an absolutely and totally political statement. You’d have to be an idiot not to believe it’s political," stated Maggie McKinney, spokeswoman for the Bay County, FL chapter of NOW.
“If anyone would read the bill, they would see that it helps women and babies who choose to place their child for adoption, instead of aborting them,” Russell Amerling, National Publicity Coordinator of Choose Life, Inc. told LifeNews.
Nine states currently have plates on residents’ cars: Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Hawaii, Arkansas, Connecticut, Maryland, and Louisiana. Due to an injunction, Louisiana has halted the sale of "Choose Life" plates, despite the fact they have been printed there already for about one year.
Three states have approved the plates but have not yet made them available: Tennessee, Montana, and South Carolina. Montana’s plates will go on sale Nov. 1.
According to Amerling, the plates have generated approximately 2.3 million dollars to abortion alternatives, such as adoption and crisis pregnancy centers. Florida’s "Choose Life" plates have generated 2 million of that revenue, and according to the FL DMV, the “Choose Life” plates were the #9 top selling specialty plates (among dozens of others) in that state in the past 12 months.