Texas House Committee Holds Debate on Allowing Choose Life License Plates

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 3, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Texas House Committee Holds Debate on Allowing Choose Life License Plates

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 3
, 2009

Austin, TX (LifeNews.com) — Under a bill that received a committee debate in the legislature on Thursday, Texas could become the latest state to offer Choose Life license plates. Gov. Rick Perry has been supporting the plates, which could generate significant funds for pregnancy centers based on sales proceeds.

The House Transportation Subcommittee on License Plates did not take a vote on the bill, HB 109, after the hearing.

Rep. Larry Phillips, a Republican, is the sponsor of the bill and 81 legislators have signed on as co-sponsors of it.

"This bill, although it has a message of ‘Choose Life,’ the funds are going to go to promote adoption, because that is obviously a great opportunity to give an alternative," he told the panel.

Joe Pojman, director of the Texas Alliance for Life, was one of several pro-life advocates supporting the bill and he presented petitions from more than 14,000 Texas residents who say they will purchase the plates should they become available.

"There is a tremendous need for the choose life plate to promote adoption in our state," he said.

Jonathan Saenz, the legislative director of the Free Market Foundation, also supports the plates.

“The people of Texas have a free speech right to proudly show their support for life and to encourage expectant mothers to choose life instead of abortion," he told LifeNews.com. "Adoption is one of the loving alternatives to abortion and this specialty plate will help raise money to support such efforts. We anticipate full support by this committee."

Abortion advocates strongly objected to allowing motorists the chance to purchase license plates supporting adoption and helping pregnant women.

"What we are discussing is neither adoption nor abortion — it is about free speech and this bill’s potential to stifle that right," Dotty Griffith of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas claimed, according to a Houston Chronicle report.

NARAL also opposed the bill with erroneous claims that pregnancy centers provide women with inaccurate information on how abortion yields mental health and medical risks.

They are also complaining because the bill stipulates that none of the funds can go to abortion centers.

The Choose Life license plate would join the 130-plus available specialty plates currently in Texas.

Some 22 other states have Choose Life License plates on the road and they have raised more than $10 million for adoption and pregnancy centers. Virginia became the latest state when its governor signed a bill allowing them.

Related web sites:
Texas Choose Life – https://www.TXChoose-Life.org
Texas Alliance for Life – https://www.TexasAllianceforLife.org
Choose Life Inc – https://www.choose-life.org

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