For at least the fifth time, according to the New York Times, the Supreme Court yesterday (Oct. 5, 2009) declined to wade into the heavily litigated question of whether states can be compelled to offer specialty plates that say "Choose Life." The Court declined to hear Choose Life Illinois v. White, and thus let stand a lower court ruling that Illinois was NOT required to offer plates with the tag Choose Life, along with some 60 other styles because it had "excluded the entire subject of abortion from its specialty plate program.
But don't go dancing in the streets just yet: Twenty-two states across the country, including Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut, already have "choose-life" plates. Choose Life Inc. the Florida-based organization that started the nationwide campaign, has raised over $6 million there from at least 40,000 drivers. As Linda noted, it's the inherently pro-adoption message in the slogan and how Choose Life Inc. uses the money it gets from the plates that gives us a migraine: "The fees raised from the plates in New Jersey would go to crisis pregnancy centers, maternity homes and nonprofit adoption agencies selected by the Children First Foundation."
And who started the Choose Life campaign? And how did it get that slogan? According to NJ.com:
Elizabeth Rex, president of the Children First Foundation, said "Choose Life" isn't actually the motto of her organization. "Our slogan is 'Adoption, it's the best choice,'" she said.
After she and her husband, Charles, adopted two children, she decided she wanted to support women with unwanted pregnancies in making that decision.
We are not advocating that any group start a fund-raising campaign to get "Choose Living Death: Adoption" on a plate any time soon, but let's hear it for the Supreme Court for not giving the pro-adoption lobby yet another toehold in the public consciousness. Now we need someone in each of the 22 states that does allow the Choose Life plates to bring suit against the states--and get the bleepin' Choose Life plates off the road. --lorraine
We're not done talking about medical histories and sealed records, and will return to the subject later this week. Please continue to post comments of personal stories of how updated medical information would have been helpful to someone to yesterday's blog, below.