What’s in a license plate? This one can help save lives Print
Written by Mary Uhler   
Thursday, Oct. 03, 2013 -- 12:00 AM

The Respect Life Program begins anew each year in the Catholic Church on Respect Life Sunday, the first Sunday in October.

During the month of October, I like to devote my “Editor’s View” space to various aspects of respect for life. Something I have always supported are pregnancy care centers, which especially offer help to pregnant women and encourage them to choose life for their unborn babies.

‘Choose Life’ license plates

The state Legislature is considering a bill which would provide a new source of funding for these pregnancy care centers: a “Choose Life” license plate, which features a baby’s footprint along with the “Choose Life” message.

Representative Andre Jacque (R-De Pere) and Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) have introduced companion legislation (Assembly 206/Senate Bill 176) to establish the  “Choose Life” specialty license plate. The plates would be available for $15 and those who purchase them would also be charged an annual $25 fee.

Money earned from the license plates would be distributed to 35 pregnancy care centers in the state through a new nonprofit organization called Choose Life Wisconsin. Julaine Appling, executive director of Wisconsin Family Action, is serving as president of this organization and Matt Sande, director of legislative affairs for Pro-Life Wisconsin, is the vice-president.

The state of Florida was the first state to establish a “Choose Life” license plate in the year 2000. Since then, 28 more states have adopted the plate. Wisconsin would be the 30th state to do so. Over $12 million for adoption assistance has been raised by the sale of these plates.

We have specialized license plates in Wisconsin for everything from “Ducks Unlimited” to the “Green Bay Packers” to “Wisconsin Salutes Veterans.” It seems appropriate that Wisconsin drivers should be allowed to express their support for life and have the opportunity to help fund pregnancy care centers in our state.

Opposition to plates is wrong

It angered me to read an article written by Jessica VanEgeren in the Capital Times about the proposed “Choose Life” plates. As usual, the Capital Times (the Madison newspaper calls itself “Your Progressive Voice”) devoted much of this article to opposition to the plates. The article says that pregnancy care centers have “come under scrutiny and received negative publicity for providing pregnant women with medically inaccurate information.”

The author says that NARAL Pro-Choice America often sends women to these centers clandestinely to see how the center employees responded to women. NARAL claimed that some centers’ employees told women “falsely” that “abortion causes psychological damage.”

In fact, NARAL’s statement is wrong. They must not have heard about Alveda King, niece of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., who says that abortion “violates the civil rights and human rights of the baby in the womb and then it hurts the mother.” In her experience, most post-abortion women claim to have suffered irrevocable damage.

King works with Priests for Life. She was one of 2,000 women who signed sworn affidavits of the harm caused them by having an abortion. The affidavits were a project of the Justice Foundation — which responded to an American Psychological Association report saying women are not harmed by abortion — by naming 100 medical and mental health professionals who spoke out against the report.

According to these experts, choosing abortion can lead to “severe depression and loss of self-esteem.” They caution medical professionals not to ignore the “significant numbers of women who suffer serious physical, mental, or psychological trauma as a result of abortion.”

Help save lives

I encourage citizens to contact their state legislators and advise them NOT to listen to NARAL. Remind them that staff members and volunteers with pregnancy help centers are the ones who tell women the truth: that they are carrying a human life in their womb.

These pregnancy centers help women find the resources they need to choose life for their babies. The “Choose Life” license plate is one way to assist them and help save lives.