Virginia House Panel Approves Pro-Abortion "Respect Choice" License Plate
by Steven Ertelt
February 11, 2010
Richmond, VA (LifeNews.com) — A state House panel of the Virginia legislature on Thursday approved a bill that would allow sales of a pro-abortion license plate for motorists. The plate received support from lawmakers even though statistics show similar pro-abortion license plates in other states have failed abysmally.
Del. Robert Brink, a Democrat, is the prime sponsor of HB 1108, a bill that would authorize sales of a license plate with the message Trust Women/Respect Choice.
The Republican-controlled House Transportation Committee signed off on the bill on a 14-6 vote after the ACLU threatened the state legislature with a First Amendment lawsuit if they failed to approve the plate following the okay of Choose Life license plates last year.
One member of the committee tried to send the proceeds from the sales of the plates to pregnancy centers via an amendment but was shot down. Money from sales of the plates goes to Planned Parenthood, which has promised to use the funds for non-abortion services even though it would free up funds to promote and perform abortions.
Del. John Cosgrove, a Republican, was one of the no votes on the pro-abortion plate bill, and said the legislature shouldn’t be held hostage by legal threats.
Where are we going to stop? We’re starting to get cowed into passing bills because we get threatened with lawsuits. he said.
ACLU of Virginia Executive Director Kent Willis previously said, "Before the final vote takes place, all legislators will have received a memo from us explaining why they are required by the Constitution to approve the pro-choice license plate."
He added: This is one time lawmakers need to set aside their views on reproductive rights and let the First Amendment be their guide. If they can do that, the pro-choice license plate will be easily approved. If not we’re undoubtedly headed to court.
The Virginia state Senate has a companion bill, SB 704, that is still awaiting action in a Senate committee.
Planned Parenthood shouldn’t count on significant revenue from the plates if poor sales in other states is any indication.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Hawaii was the first state to have a Respect Choice" decal for plates in 2003 but the Times says there is so little interest the state may consider scrapping the decal.
Montana and Pennsylvania have pro-abortion license plates but just 22 people out of millions of residents of Pennsylvania have purchased one sponsored by Planned Parenthood.
Those figures compare poorly with the 520,000 Choose Life plates sold nationwide since 2002 that have raised an estimated $11 million for pregnancy centers and adoption agencies.
Unable to put a halt to the Choose Life license plates in dozens of states, abortion advocates are putting their own plate together hoping to reap the same financial windfall that pregnancy centers and adoption agencies have.
Choose Life plates are available in Montana, Arizona, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.
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