Alaska Could Become Next State With Choose Life License Plate

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 18, 2011   |   2:14PM   |   Juneau, AK

Alaska could become the next state with a Choose Life license plate allowing state motorists to express their support for human life and the abortion alternative of adoption.

Rep. Charisse Millett, a Republican from Anchorage, has sponsored a bill to create the Choose Life license plate, which has resulted in millions of dollars in purchases and donations going to adoption groups, maternity homes and pregnancy centers in dozens of states. The bill cleared the House State Affairs Committee without any dissent as all five members supported the bill.

Reps. Bob Lynn, the committee chair who has been active with Alaska Right to Life, and Wes Keller, both Republicans and co-sponsors of the bill, voted for HB 111, according to  News Tribune report. Republican Reps. Paul Seaton and Kyle Johansen also voted for the bill along with Democratic Rep. Pete Petersen.

The bill would allow the creation of a plate that would be a similar yellow as other states and have a crayon drawing of the words Choose Life and images of children’s faces.

The newspaper indicated Millett told the committee 26 other states have passed legislation allowing the plates and another 15 are considering bills to do so. She explained drivers would purchase the plate for $30, which is about the same price as other specialty plates currently seen on automobiles in Alaska.

Russ Amerling, the president of Choose Life Inc., which started the first plates in Florida and helped other states get them, also testified during the committee hearing and said more than 625,000 vehicles across the country currently bear the plates. He also said the lawsuits abortion advocates have filed in the past against the plates seem to have stopped as lower courts have issued rulings generally favoring the free speech rights of motorists to purchase them.

The newspaper said the American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska, a pro-abortion legal group, sent the committee a letter opposing the plates and saying pro-abortion plates may need to be allowed to make it constitutional. But no one testified against the Choose Life plate bill, which now heads to the House Finance Committee.