From a blog I wrote in 2008:
How many “special” license plates are sanctioned by the state of Wisconsin?
How would you feel about a Wisconsin license plate that proclaimed, “Choose Life”?
A federal appellate court has ruled that the state of Arizona must go along with an anti-abortion group’s request for a special “Choose Life” license plate.
The court based its ruling on the assertion that Arizona’s system of approving special license plates established, in essence, a public outlet for private speech. Therefore, the title, “Choose Life” could not be dismissed. Denying this particular plate would be a denial of First Amendment rights.
Way back in January 2002, the Arizona Life Coalition placed an application for “Choose Life” license plates.
They were rejected.
Now there’s a real shocker. So the Arizona Life Coalition sued the state of Arizona in September 2003.
What was the Coalition’s motivation?
For the answer, let’s go to the website of the Center for Reproductive Rights, an organization that strongly opposes “Choose Life” license plates. (Apparently, plates that would say something like, “Abort your baby” would be just fine with this bunch).
Here’s what their website says about these dastardly license plates:
“Choose Life” license plates are specialty plates that bear an anti-abortion message. Motorists who purchase the plates pay a fee above the cost of a standard license plate. The revenue generated from the sale is then funneled to non-profit, anti-abortion organizations, including so called “crisis pregnancy centers” that often promise comprehensive medical advice and services but deliver anti-abortion propaganda. Any organization that mentions abortion as a neutral option – including counseling, referrals or advertising – is prohibited from receiving any of the funds.
My goodness, how awful.
Because we all know, Planned Parenthood doesn’t raise or accept any money whatsoever for their campaign to kill the unborn.
A little over a handful of states have “Choose Life” license plates.
Can you imagine the pandemonium that would erupt if someone suggested Wisconsin adopt these special plates?
Why, we can’t promote the birth of children…….but a pro-abortion plate, now that’s a different subject.
Thank God for that appellate court in the Arizona case that ruled “Choose Life” is protected free speech.
Lefties love free speech……when it’s their speech. They hate when it’s speech that directly confronts their views because then they have to try to come up with facts to combat it, and ultimately, they lose the debate.
So they seek, instead, means to silence speech from the right rather than meet it head on.
How wonderful that sounds.
—Jan. 29, 2008
THE UPDATE: Earlier this year the state Assembly passed legislation to approve the license plates, 93-0, while the state Senate approved the legislation, 31-1. Senator Mary Lazich was the lead author of the bill that was signed into law by Governor Walker.
“Choose Life” license plate coming to Wisconsin
Today, Choose Life Wisconsin Inc. announced it is now an authorized group with the Department of Motor Vehicles for the purpose of requesting a specialty license plate.
“The choose life plate has been almost ten years in the making,” Julaine Appling, Choose Life Wisconsin president, said. “We are excited that within the next eight to twelve months, Wisconsin pro-life citizens will be able to purchase a beautiful license plate that expresses their views on life while also directly helping our state’s life-saving, woman-helping pregnancy resource centers.”
Choose Life plates are now available in more than 30 states. Since the first plate was approved in Florida nearly 20 years ago, over $23 million has been raised nationwide to assist with adoption and other life-affirming educational work.
In the Midwest, Indiana has raised $650,000, and Ohio has raised over $500,000. Both states have over 25,000 cars sporting their Choose Life plates.
“We have experienced increasing demand for a “Choose Life” license plate in Wisconsin over the last five years,” Matt Sande, Choose Life Wisconsin vice-president, said. “We are confident the plate will sell quickly, and we are excited to open up a funding stream for Wisconsin’s pregnancy resource centers, which offer health services, adoption referrals, and in general help women in crisis pregnancies make life-saving choices.”
The Choose Life Wisconsin license plate originated with Pro-Life Wisconsin and Wisconsin Family Action partnering on the idea and working together throughout the long administrative and legislative process.
“Julaine and I, on behalf of our respective organizations, have been through legislative hearings, floor votes, changes in procedure, legal questions and more over the past six years,” Sande said. “We are so happy to finally reach this point, knowing in the next year or so, Choose Life Wisconsin will begin distributing much-needed funds to Wisconsin’s Pregnancy Resource Centers – our front-line partners.”
Choose Life Wisconsin Inc. is an independently registered Wisconsin not-for-profit corporation. The IRS has recognized Choose Life Wisconsin as a 501(c)3 organization. Choose Life Wisconsin’s mission is to spread a positive, pro-life message and help Wisconsin’s vital pregnancy resource centers flourish by funding them from the proceeds of the sale of the Choose Life plate.
The proposed Choose Life Wisconsin license plate features classic Wisconsin colors—red, white and black. The graphic on the left side of the proposed design is an ink-print of a baby’s foot, like those on birth certificates. Under the plate number is “Choose Life” in red.
Currently, the Specialty License Plate unit of the Department of Motor Vehicles is working with Choose Life Wisconsin to finalize design details. State law requires that the plate be available for purchase within twelve months of the sponsoring group being approved.
The first time someone purchases the plate, the cost will be the regular registration fee, plus a $15 issuance fee, and $25 tax-deductible donation which the state will send to Choose Life Wisconsin, Inc. After the first year, the cost is the regular registration fee and the $25 tax-deductible donation (unless the applicant wants a personalized plate, which is an additional $15). Choose Life Wisconsin will then distribute the funds to Wisconsin’s pregnancy resource centers.
“This is a dream that at points, quite honestly, we weren’t sure would ever come true,” Appling said. “But thankfully it has. Wisconsin citizens will soon be able to proclaim their pro-life beliefs on their license plates and by doing so help fund on-the-ground organizations that are on the front lines of the pro-life cause.”
For more information contact Appling (608) 334-6435 or Sande at (262) 796-1111, or email firstname.lastname@example.org