This license plate can help save lives Print
Written by Mary C. Uhler   
Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017 -- 12:00 AM

On December 7, 2016, there was a quiet announcement that few people probably noticed. But it carried some significant news that can help save lives.

On that date, the Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles announced that Choose Life Wisconsin Inc. is now an authorized group for the purpose of requesting a specialty license plate.

I wrote about efforts to authorize this specialty license plate in October of 2013. It is finally becoming a reality.

Helps pregnancy centers

It is more than a typical “vanity” plate. Money earned from these “Choose Life” license plates will be distributed to 35 pregnancy care centers in Wisconsin.

Julaine Appling, Choose Life Wisconsin president, said, “The Choose Life plate has been almost 10 years in the making. We are excited that within the next eight to 12 months, Wisconsin pro-life citizens will be able to purchase a beautiful license plate that expresses their views on life while also directly helping our state’s life-saving, woman-helping pregnancy resource centers.” reported on the license plates, noting that Choose Life plates are now available in more than 30 states. Since the first plate was approved in Florida nearly 20 years ago, over $23 million has been raised nationwide to assist with adoption and other life-affirming work.

In the Midwest, Indiana has raised $650,000, and Ohio has raised over $500,000. Both states report they have over 25,000 cars using these plates.

In Wisconsin, Pro-Life Wisconsin and Wisconsin Family Action partnered on the license plate, working together through a long administrative and legislative process.

Matt Sande of Pro-Life Wisconsin, Choose Life Wisconsin vice-president, said, “We are confident the plate will sell quickly, and we are excited to open up a funding stream for Wisconsin’s pregnancy resource centers, which offer health services, adoption referrals, and in general help women in crisis pregnancies make life-saving choices.”

How plates work

Final details of the license plate design are being developed. At this point, the “Choose Life” license plate features a baby’s footprint along with the “Choose Life” message.

State law requires that the plate be available for purchase within 12 months of being approved.

The first time someone purchases this plate, the cost will be the regular registration fee, plus a $15 issuance fee and a $25 tax-deductible donation. After the first year, the cost is the registration fee plus a $25 tax-deductible donation.

Choose Life Wisconsin will then distribute the funds raised to state pregnancy care centers.

Embracing a culture of life

The approval of the Choose Life license plate is just one sign that our society is gradually embracing a culture of life.

As we mark the 44th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision of January 22, 1973, legalizing abortion, we can point to positive steps to encourage respect for life in our state and across the nation.

In Wisconsin, a woman must undergo an ultrasound before obtaining an abortion. The provider must show and describe the image to the woman. It has been shown that seeing a picture of her unborn baby often discourages a woman from having an abortion.

On a national level, the Knights of Columbus has sponsored its Ultrasound Initiative, offering to pay half the cost of purchasing an ultrasound machine. The Women’s Care Center in Madison is attempting to raise funds to purchase a new 3D/4D ultrasound machine, which reveals the unborn baby in even clearer pictures.

Donations for the ultrasound project may be sent to Women’s Care Center, 3711 Orin Rd., Madison, WI 53704.

The Choose Life license plate and the ultrasound project are just two ways to help build a culture of life in our state.