Little-known fact: way back in 1996 a County Commissioner in Ocala, Florida (my home town), had an idea while sitting in traffic looking at one of the many specialty plates then offered in Florida. He decided to organize a group to petition the Florida Legislature to approve a Choose Life license plate, with the proceeds going to support adoption and crisis pregnancy centers. The organization, Choose Life, Inc., was formed shortly thereafter, and after much hard work the State of Florida became the first state in the Union to allow the pro-life message onto a specialty plate. Gov. Jeb Bush signed the bill into law in June 1999, and the first plates went on sale in August 2000.
Since Florida (my home state) started offering the Choose Life plate more than a decade ago, the Choose Life movement has blossomed across America. As of July 2011, 24 states offer the Choose Life plate, and it’s not just your usual suspects. States as diverse as Massachusetts, Arizona, South Carolina, and Delaware all offer a version of the Choose Life plate.
Since January 2011 the Choose Life movement has made some major strides in two large states, Texas and North Carolina.
On 16 March, the Texas Senate passed SB257, authorizing the State DMV to offer a Choose Life plate. The Texas House of Representatives passed the bill on 04 May, and pro-life Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed the bill into law on 17 May. The Texas Choose Life plate will be available in September 2011. The plate will cost $30, and $22 of that fee will go to promote adoption.
Meanwhile, in North Carolina, the Choose Life plate gained final approval on 30 June 2011, when pro-abortion Gov. Beverly Perdue signed into law House Bill 289. In North Carolina the plate costs $25, and $15 of that fee will go to support pro-life pregnancy centers in the state. In order for the plates to be sold statewide, however, 300 North Carolina drivers will have to pre-register for the plate.
We encourage all our supporters who live in Choose Life states to purchase the specialty plate if they have not already, and we especially encourage our supporters in Texas and North Carolina to register for their new plate. In addition, if you live in a non-Choose Life state and would like to get involved with efforts to bring the plate to your state, please don’t hesitate to contact Choose Life, Inc. They are there to help you.
The Choose Life plate movement is just one example of the dynamism and creativity which pro-lifers of many different states bring to the right-to-life cause. All across this nation people of every race, color, and creed are uniting to end abortion and promote life-affirming alternatives. And how amazing is it that such a widespread, successful movement was born one day in a Florida traffic jam!