MADISON, Wisc. — A Democratic representative in Wisconsin has proposed the creation of ‘Support Planned Parenthood’ plates just two weeks after the state Assembly approved the sale of ‘Choose Life’ plates.
Representative Chris Taylor is a former public policy director at Planned Parenthood, and introduced a bill allowing for the creation of the plates on Monday.
“It is still important for Democrats to say what we stand for,” she told The Capital Times. “This is a plate to support life-saving health care for women through the oldest and most trusted family planning institution in the state. That’s why I proposed it.”
Taylor says that $25 from the sale of the plates would go toward cervical and breast screenings, and family planning services such as birth control. Reports state that none of the funds would go directly to abortion services.
Just two weeks ago, Republican Representative Andre Jacque proposed a bill sanctioning the sale of “Choose Life” plates in the state, $25 of which would be distributed to pro-life pregnancy centers in Wisconsin. The measure cleared the Assembly 54-38, and will move to the other Houses in the state legislature for a vote—likely next year.
Taylor’s bill has been sent to the Transportation Committee in the Assembly, but is not expected to be approved.
Similar proposals have been introduced in other states, such as North Carolina, but have also been struck down. As previously reported, according to WGHP-TV in High Point, six separate amendments were presented to North Carolina lawmakers in an effort to have produced plates that read either “Trust Women. Respect Choice” or just “Respect Choice.” The legislature has struck down all six amendments as they have failed to obtain a majority vote.
However, last December, a federal judge appointed by Ronald Reagan ordered the state to stop producing pro-life license plates unless it also makes available plates that favor abortion.
U.S. District Court Judge James Carroll Fox said that the current “Choose Life” plates amount to “viewpoint discrimination” and are therefore unconstitutional.
“This court concludes … that the states’s offering of a Choose Life license plate in the absence of a pro-choice plate constitutes viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment,” Fox wrote.
He pointed to the 2004 case of Planned Parenthood v. Rose, in which the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, declared unconstitutional a law that allowed the creation of “Choose Life” license plates. The ruling, written by Judge Michael Luttig, appointed by George H.W. Bush, with a concurrence of two Clinton-appointed justices, stated that both viewpoints surrounding abortion must be represented in order for the law to be permissible.
The case is now also before the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is fighting against the plates.
Currently, 29 states offer “Choose Life” plates to residents.
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