“Choose Life” License Plates May Come to Texas

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January 26, 2011; Source: The American Independent | Legislation pending in the Texas state legislature would authorize the Department of Motor Vehicles to sell "Choose Life" license plates, the proceeds from which would go into a special Choose Life fund to support "adoption as a compassionate alternative to abortion," according to the Texas Alliance for Life which is pushing for the plates.

Already some 25 states permit Choose Life plates. The legislation would allow the state to appropriate additional funds to the account and structure it so that it could accept private donations. To be eligible to apply for funds from the account, organizations would have to be 501(c)(3) nonprofits, provide counseling and assistance to pregnant women considering adoption, not provide abortions or abortion-related services, and not charge for services.

It seems like the importance of the program is not the money from the sale of license plates. A Legislative Budget Board analysis of a previous version of the bill estimated that it would generate only $9,000 per year from the sale of 300 Choose Life plates. Texas Alliance for Life compare their proposal with a Choose Life initiative in Florida which generated $700,000 for anti-abortion groups and imagine that Texas, being larger than Florida, should attract more money.

The state's creation of the program, the authorization of the plates, and the attraction of both state appropriations and private donations to a state government-authorized anti-abortion account is what makes it important. It's the state blessing for the "Choose Life" moniker, not just the money from the plates, that counts – and that it will generate money for like-minded nonprofits.—Rick Cohen