Planned Parenthood came out in force Tuesday afternoon to oppose a bill during its committee hearing.
It wasn’t a bill to defund Planned Parenthood or restrict access to abortion that had the nation’s largest abortion provider up in arms. No, this bill was about a license plate.
LB46 would make the “choose life” license plates available for purchase in Nebraska and send proceeds from purchasing the plate to the Child Abuse Prevention Fund. All states allow specialty license plates to promote and raise funds to support various causes, and the “choose life” plate is available in at least 29 other states.
Planned Parenthood wasn’t the only one that showed up to oppose the bill. Nebraskans Against Gun Violence as well as many unaffiliated pro abortion individuals offered testimony in opposition. One testifier claimed that, “if the license plate were honest it would read impose pregnancy.” Others called the message a “sham.”
One woman argued that instead of a cartoon drawing of children, it should show an electric chair. Still others tried to argue that these custom license plates were the equivalent of the state taking a negative stance on abortion.
Never mind that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled just two years ago in Berger v. American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina that states can adopt the “choose life” license plates without simultaneously approving a conflicting or opposing message.
Never mind that state governments have the right to advance messages consistent with their public policies, and nothing in our state or federal constitution requires government to censor the “choose life” message.
Never mind that proceeds from purchasing the plate would go towards the Child Abuse Prevention Fund, that the specialty plate is purely optional and any person or group can introduce their own bill to create a license plate with a different message.
Never mind all that because if it so much as hints at a pro life message, pro-choice advocates will fight tooth and nail to defeat it.
Thankfully, the Transportation Committee easily saw through the many baseless and straw man arguments that were presented against the bill and voted it out of committee 8-0.
One has to ask, though, why making this purely voluntary “choose life” message available as an option would be so problematic for an organization that claims abortion is only 3% of what they do?
As it turns out, maybe abortion is a bigger part of Planned Parenthood’s business model than the public is led to believe, and any positive message that could further cultivate a culture of respect for human life is in direct conflict with the pro-choice movement.
For an organization supposedly about choice, Planned Parenthood should not inhibit Nebraska’s choice to create the “choose life” license plate.