Virginia Senate Committee Accidentally Kills Planned Parenthood License Plate Bill

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 8, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Virginia Senate Committee Accidentally Kills Planned Parenthood License Plate Bill

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 8
, 2010

Richmond, VA ( — In the world of state legislative politics, pro-life advocates know to expect the unexpected — and they got just that in the Virginia legislature. A Senate committee wound up voting down a bill that would establish a license plate for the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

Last Thursday, members of the Democrat-controlled Senate Transportation Committee considered HB 1108 establishing the license plate with the Trust Women, Respect Choice" slogan.

In the House, lawmakers approved the bill but not before stripping funding from the plates and sending the sales proceeds to a state program providing pregnant women with legitimate help and support.

As Family Foundation president Victoria Cobb tells, the Senate finished its floor business Thursday earlier than the House and committee chair Yvonne Miller went ahead with the hearing on the bill even though its sponsor, Delegate Robert Brink, wasn’t in attendance. Also, senators Edd Houck and Harry Blevins were absent.

"A motion was made to amend the bill to redirect sale proceeds back to Planned Parenthood. The vote was close, 7-6, in favor of the amendment," Cobb recalled.

Senator Phil Puckett, a pro-life Democrat, voted with all but one of the Republicans against the amendment. However, Senator John Watkins voted with the Democrats to send the plate money to Planned Parenthood.

"His vote apparently gave Senator Miller a false sense of security. Thinking she had the votes, she proceeded with a vote to pass the amended bill — but Senator Watkins then voted with Senator Puckett and the Republican senators against the bill and the bill failed, 7-6," Cobb said.

"We can imagine the ‘Oops’ Senator Miller had to say to Delegate Brink as well as the crying coming from Planned Parenthood! However, there’s another Planned Parenthood plate bill alive, as part of an omnibus special license plate package in the Senate," Cobb said.

Though Cobb and pro-life advocates are delighted by the good news, there is still another Planned Parenthood license plate bill the Senate approved pending in the legislature.

"That bill is not in a conference committee where a select group of House and Senate members will try to work out a compromise" about the end-result of where proceeds from the sales of plates goes.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia has threatened to sue the state if it doesn’t allow the pro-abortion plates.
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:
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