Guest Author - Suzanne Gregory
It almost did not happen, but Virginia’s Governor Republican Bob McDonnell signed a bill for a pro-choice view themed license plate. The plate will read “Trust women, Respect Choice”. Governor McDonnell an anti-abortion supporter, had indicated he would vote against any such bill that allocated funds for abortion services.
That is until the American civil liberties union of Virginia threatened legal action if the bill for the choice plate was not approved. Virginia has a law prohibiting discrimination of one political viewpoint over another. Virginia really had no other options but to allow the choice plates since in 2009 the Governor at the time, Timothy Kaine, signed to allow the pro-life license plate.
There was no way anyone could stop the approval of the “Trust Women, Respect Choice” license plate when they had already implemented one for the opposition. There is a law to be proud of! Fairness and tolerance for both sides while maintaining a sense of civility. That is all I wish, for all of us. If Virginia has had a plate for pro-life for over a year, what took the choice plate so long?
It turns out, Virginia is only the fourth state that has one. The only other states that have a pro-choice license plate are Montana & Pennsylvania. Hawaii has a pro-choice decal for their plates, but they have had that since the 1970’s.
In contrast, last year Virginia became the 23rd state to have a pro-life plate, and most of the remaining states, are working on theirs. Over five hundred thousand life plates have sold since 2008, making over 11 million dollars for antiabortion crisis pregnancy centers, adoption services, and maternity homes. After the first thousand dollars is made from the sale of the plate, $15 of every $25 made goes into preventing another woman from choosing to end their pregnancy.
The same will apply for the choice plate. After the first $1000 made $15 of every $25 will go to the Virginia League of Planned Parenthood, the sponsors of the choice plate. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell did manage to keep any of the choice plate proceeds from funding abortion services. He added an addendum to the bill that prevents it. Instead the money will go to Virginia League of Planned Parenthood for important medical services for women like STD testing and treatment, pap smears, and birth control.
I can live with that compromise.