Fwd: "Choose Life" license plates

AnneM (AnneM@edc.org)
Fri, 1 May 1998 09:10:51 -0400

Forwarded from WISENET
Subject: Fwd: "Choose Life" license plates
From: Women In Science and Engineering NETwork <WISENET@LISTSERV.UIC.EDU>
at Internet
Date: 4/30/98 10:20

'Choose Life' Plates Approved in Florida
Critics Call Vanity Tags a Political Statement >
c The Associated Press
> >
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (April 29) - Florida legislators on Wednesday > approved a
''Choose Life'' specialty license plate, ignoring critics who called it a
> >political statement against abortion, not one that supports adoption. > >Gov.
Lawton Chiles, who supports abortion rights, was expected to allow the
> >measure to become law. Advocates on both sides of the issue said it > would
make Florida the first state to offer drivers the chance to make their views on
> >abortion known.
> >
> >''This is the first,'' said Kate Michelman, president of the National
Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League. > >
> >Michelman called the tag a ''clever gimmick,'' but said its passage by
> the Legislature was extraordinary.
> >
> >''It's just one more example of the insidious tactics anti-choice > lawmakers
> >are using to stigmatize and erode a woman's right to choose,'' she > said.
> >
> >But Tom Feeney, a Republican who sponsored the House bill, said the > plate
> >doesn't urge that abortion rights be overturned. > >
> >''It advocates a personal and private choice,'' Feeney said. ''This is
> a pro-choice tag.''
> >
> >The state Senate on Tuesday approved the ''Choose Life'' slogan, which
> will adorn a bright yellow plate with drawings of a smiling boy and girl. >
The House did so Wednesday, after a proposal to use ''Adopt a Child'' was >
> >
> >The tag would be the first politically oriented specialty plate in a > state
> >that already offers 41 such plates, calling attention from everything
> from the endangered manatee to the National Hockey League's Florida Panthers.
> >
> >On Tuesday, the House also killed a measure to change the state >
Constitution to allow for parental consent of abortions and passed a bill to
require parental notification of teen-age abortions. The parental notification
> bill is pending in the state Senate.
> >
> >Lawmakers who support abortion rights said the license plate could > provoke
> >those in the antiabortion movement who have been prone to violence in
> the past.
> >
> >''Not all people in the movement are murderers - but some are,'' said >
>Democratic Rep. Barry Silver.
> >
> >''This license plate shouldn't be called 'choose life,''' he said. ''It
> should be called 'choose strife.'''
> >
> >The issue is particularly sensitive in Florida, where two doctors have
> been killed outside abortion clinics in the last five years. > >
> >Dr. David Gunn became the first U.S. doctor killed during an > antiabortion
> >demonstration in 1993. The following year, Dr. John Bayard Britton and
> a bodyguard were slain, also outside a Pensacola clinic. The shooters > were
> >convicted in both cases.
> >
> >The organization that crafted the bill, Choose Life Inc., collected > 10,000
> >signatures in support of the plate and paid the $30,000 fee to the > state to
> >develop it.
> >
> >The money raised by the $20 fee for the plate will be distributed among
> >private groups to help women who want to place children for adoption. > >
> >An amendment that would have dedicated some of that money to pregnancy
> >prevention was defeated in the House Wednesday. > >
> >''I don't believe the people that are advocating this license plate > want to
be responsible for subsidizing condom manufacturers,'' Feeney said. > >
> >

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