There went my quiet Sunday morning. The screaming inside my head turned into out loud profanity. The first thing that came to mind was that any time I see a “Choose Life” bumper sticker (usually on a minivan) I want to roll down my window and scream at the driver, “And are YOU going to provide emotional and financial support to the woman facing a crisis pregnancy who chooses life?!” Then I remembered the chill I’d get up my spine when I’d see the pro-life groups march in local parades with their banners and red roses as though they were a royal procession. For the past several years I’ve been taunted by a large billboard on a two-lane highway I travel enroute to relatives in northeast Pennsylvania—“Choose Life…Your Mother Did.” And then I remembered that those special, chosen babies grow up to be adults who have to fight for the right to access their original birth certificates.
CFF’s lawyer claims that the state agency refused to allow the plates simply because it didn’t agree with the message. The state’s policy is that it doesn’t allow plates that it considers politically motivated. Make no mistake—this is political. And more importantly, it’s personal. While most of my fellow birthmothers did not have a choice, today—until further notice—a woman still has the right to decide what to do with her own body.
As for Ms. Rex’s intention to support women with “unwanted” pregnancies, I’d like to smack her. I suspect women dealing with truly unwanted pregnancies make a difficult, different choice early on, so defining their pregnancies as “unwanted” must be wishful thinking on her part. While my pregnancy was unplanned, it was not “unwanted.” My child’s 20 year old father and I agreed we would become parents, and then he changed his mind when I was 5-1/2 months pregnant. I had a choice, and wasn’t afraid to stand up for myself. I was not forced to choose adoption, but I did not receive any offers of financial or social service assistance, either, so that left me—a single, pregnant 19-year-old college sophomore with minimum wage job prospects—with very few options.
The article further reports that 22 states already have Choose Life plates; thankfully, I've never spotted one on the interstates I travel regularly throughout the northeast. Choose Life Inc., the Florida based organization that started the nationwide campaign, has raised over $6 million there from at least 40,000 drivers. Are there any FMF readers from the Choose Life states who were aware the program exists and is sanctioned by their state government? If so, are you comfortable supporting the program? New York and Illinois, thankfully, are facing legal issues of their own. Last year a federal judge said Illinois had the right to restrict content on its own license plates. Choose Life Inc. has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case.
$6 million. Imagine what we could be doing with that money if it was earmarked to support planned parenthood rather than adoption. We could fund sex education programs, provide easily accessible and affordable contraception and counseling, and offer family preservation support for single women or women of limited means who wish to assume the challenges of parenthood.
Yes, I chose life. And I’ve been slammed by adoption. I’m reminded of it daily and have paid a very dear price for that decision. It’s a debt that compounds interest and will never be paid in full—I’ve lost a daughter, grandchildren, and even a sister because I chose life. I don’t need to be reminded of it while stuck in traffic behind a minivan sporting a cute license plate commanding me to Choose Life.