by Steven Ertelt
July 14, 2006
Hartford, CT (LifeNews.com) — The Choose Life license plate in Connecticut may still be under fire even though the state Department of Motor Vehicles reached an agreement with the pro-abortion group that sponsors it to keep it on the roads. Pro-abortion state lawmakers have said they may target the plate in an upcoming legislative session.
The DMV removed the plates from being sold after pro-abortion state legislators got Attorney General Richard Blumenthal to write the agency and demand that it be yanked.
State Rep. Roberta Willis, a Democrat from Salisbury, launched the original complaint that promoted the revocation of the plates. She said she’s upset the DMV agreed to put the plates back on the streets and indicated she may ask lawmakers to intervene.
"I was deflated and disappointed. Apparently the DMV made the decision without discussing it even with the attorney general," she told the Litchfield County Times. "The motor vehicle department made their decision based on their lawyer looking at the case."
"The only recourse we have at this point is legislative action," she added.
"I want [the General Assembly] to look at how we accept these plates so this doesn’t become a continuing saga. I think we need to have this discussion," Willis said.
That discussion could include changing the rules on plate approval — something that could phase out the Choose Life license plate.
"What I’d assume would happen is that people keep their plates, if they have them, and, if we can terminate them, when you go to renew you wouldn’t be able to get that plate anymore," she explained.
That has Elizabeth Rex, the head of The Children First Foundation, the plate sponsor, concerned.
"The swift reinstatement of the Connecticut ‘Choose Life’ plate was music to our ears, but it has greatly angered the opposition who are now more determined than ever to find a way to shut it down permanently," Rex said in an email to LifeNews.com.
She said it appears lawmakers may even go as far as dismantling the entire specialty plate system in Connecticut to stop the Choose Life plate.
Rex is also concerned, because a move to ditch the Choose Life plate through legislative action got a boost from an editorial in the Hartford Courant newspaper.
Rex encouraged pro-life advocates in the state to purchase Choose Life license plates as soon as possible before the opportunity is gone. Anyone wanting to purchase a plate can go to the group’s web site for an application form to download and complete.
In reinstating the plate, DMV legal services chief John Yacavone said he and Rex signed a "stipulation and settlement agreement" that says the group qualifies to sponsor the plates. CFF will be asked to do a little more work in Connecticut to make sure it meets the threshold needed for sponsoring groups.
The agreement requires CFF to have a more established presence in Connecticut and for Rex to designate a state resident, rather than herself, as the official local contact for the group.
It also indicates that the Children First Foundation is now — and always has been – – in full compliance with all DMV regulations for specialty plates.
Raymond Belair, an attorney who represented CFF along with attorneys from the Alliance Defense Fund, said the resolution "resolution of this matter on terms acceptable to The Children First Foundation."
Rex indicated she was upset that the DMV didn’t follow state rules and let her know that the plate had been suspended. She was unaware of the May 25 decision until a newspaper reported called her seeking comment on it.
Rex said her group had been considering a lawsuit if the DMV didn’t reestablish the plates. The Children First Foundation has lawsuits pending in New York and New Jersey, which have both stopped the plates from going into production.
Founded in 2001, The Children First Foundation has raised and awarded over $37,000 in grants to pregnancy centers to help promote and support adoption as a positive choice for unwanted pregnancies or newborns.
Related web sites:
Children First Foundation – https://www.fund-adoption.org