by Steven Ertelt
February 12, 2007
Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) — A Florida group is moving ahead with plans to create a pro-abortion license plate for state motorists. To get the "United for Choice" license plate approved, abortion advocates would need to get a bill through the state legislature, which will likely be a difficult task.
The Orlando affiliate of the pro-abortion National Organization for Women is behind the licensee plate effort. It is a response to the Choose Life plate in the state which has remained popular with drivers and raised millions to fund adoption and abortion alternatives.
The Florida Department of Motor Vehicles says the Choose Life plate is the eight most popular plate among the more than 100 specialty plate designs.
"It’s unfair to have just one side of the issue represented," Cicely Scheiner, vice president of NOW’s Orlando chapter, told The Miami Herald. "It’s almost a freedom of speech issue."
The NOW group is attempting to raise $60,000 to cover the fee associated with the application and hoping to generate 30,000 signatures from people saying they would commit to buy the plate if it’s offered.
Sales of the plate would benefit sexual education programs that are not abstinence-only based.
Russ Amerling of Choose Life Inc., the group behind the Choose Life plates, says he has been saying for years that abortion advocates should try to get their own license plates rather than suing states where the Choose Life plates have been adopted.
"We’ve been telling them to do that for five years and quit suing us," he said previously.
The Supreme Court refused to hold a hearing on a pro-abortion challenge to the Tennessee plates.
The nation’s high court did not say why it wouldn’t take the case, but it is the second Choose Life plate case the high court has declined to consider. Last year it would not accept for hearings a lawsuit from South Carolina, where pro-life advocates were appealing a court decision striking down the plates.
The Tennessee litigation concerned an appeal of a federal appeals court decision in a lawsuit the ACLU filed to stop the plates.
The pro-abortion law firm said the plates amounted to so-called viewpoint discrimination since the state legislature approved a bill for Choose Life tags but not a pro-abortion plate. The appeals court ruled the plates could be sold even anyway.
Rep. Scott Randolph, an Orlando Democrat, previously told the Sentinel newspaper he is considering sponsoring the pro-abortion plate if the group obtains enough signatures.
The Choose Life license plates are on nearly 61,000 vehicles across the state.
The Choose Life license plate is currently available in 12 states, including Tennessee where they were first made available last month. Hawaii and Montana are the only states with pro-abortion license plates.
Ohio and Georgia have rejected attempts to allow pro-abortion license plates.