Virginia House and Senate OK Pro-Abortion License Plates, Funding Battle Next
by Steven Ertelt
February 17, 2010
Richmond, VA (LifeNews.com) — The Virginia state House and state Senate have both signed off on a pro-abortion license plate sponsored by Planned Parenthood. Now the chambers will have to resolve differing amendments on whether or not the abortion business will get any of the money from the sales of the affinity plates.
As LifeNews.com reported, the state House approved the plates but not before a republican lawmaker won approval of an amendment to divert funding from Planned Parenthood to a state fund that helps pregnant women.
The Senate approved the bill for the "Trust Women/Respect Choice" plates but kept the funding headed to Planned Parenthood.
Now, both chambers will have to resolve the differences.
Del. Bob Brink, an Arlington Democrat who sponsored the bill in the House, told the Fredericksburg newspaper the amendment to yank the funding was "an action that discriminates against one particular group and its message" and one that "certainly would invite an expensive lawsuit."
Fr. Frank Pavone, the national director of Priests for Life, tells LifeNews.com he hopes the money will help women and not promote the abortion business.
"Approval of a measure that benefits Planned Parenthood financially not only puts more money into the killing of children and harming of women by abortion, but also funds one of the largest criminal conspiracies in the nation," Pavone asserted.
He said, "Planned Parenthood puts minors in danger by covering up child abuse and statutory rape. Not only should they not benefit from specialty plates; they should be closed altogether."
Brink held out hope that the Planned Parenthood funding would be restored.
There are ample opportunities for the General Assembly and the governor to rectify the error, Brink said on the House floor, according to the Sun Gazette. Otherwise, we will have discriminated against one particular group and its message, which arguably puts us in violation of the First Amendment and certainly will invite an expensive lawsuit.
Victoria Cobb, the president of the Family Foundation, tells LifeNews.com court rulings have regarded who should get a plate not where the funding goes.
"Court rulings have said if one viewpoint is allowed on a license plate another viewpoint must also be allowed, but it does not address the funding aspects of the license plates," Cobb explains.
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.
Related web sites:
Virginia Family Foundation – https://www.familyfoundationblog.com
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