Choose life license plates: ACLU misses the point


Once again, advocates for “choice” have demonstrated that they often only care about one choice.

The ACLU of North Carolina filed a lawsuit on Thursday over the State’s new “Choose Life” license plates.  The ACLU claims that the license plates (the proceeds of which go to a pregnancy care center) violate First Amendment rights, as there is no option of a pro-abort license plate.

Here is a portion of the ACLU press release:

“If anti-choice drivers are permitted to express their views on their license plates, people like me should be able to express our view that women deserve full reproductive freedom,” said Sue Holliday, plaintiff and certified nurse midwife.

The lawsuit asks the Court to declare that the current license plate scheme constitutes viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment and to order the State to cease developing and issuing the “Choose Life” license plate without authorizing a countervailing pro-choice plate.

So why are these two words — “Choose Life” — such a threat?

The entire lawsuit is based on the idea that only one side of the “choice” issue is being addressed.  This is evidenced in the press release when it labels the license plates “anti-choice,” promotes a “Respect Choice” plate, and calls for a  “countervailing pro-choice plate.”  This misses the point.  Somehow the first word on the license plate was entirely overlooked.  The term “Choose Life” implies that there is a choice, so obviously a lack of choice is not the issue being addressed by the license plates.

The ACLU claims that only one side of the “issue” is being presented, but has failed to recognize what that issue is.  As already noted, the plate doesn’t take a stance on the issue of choice, and it doesn’t even condemn abortion.  The real issue at hand is what choice should be made: abortion or life.  The North Carolina license plate takes a position on that issue, and that issue alone. The only equal, reciprocal license plate would be “choose abortion,” or, even more explicit, “choose death.”  But I doubt that is what the ACLU is looking for.

Pro-choice advocates are fond of saying that they seek to reduce the number of abortions, just by different means than the pro-life crowd.  So, if our goal on both sides of the life debate is to have fewer abortions, why is it a problem to encourage women to choose life?  If abortion advocates really stand for choice, why is it threatening for pro-lifers to promote the choice they believe in?

Apparently, for some, asking women to choose life for their unborn child is the wrong choice.

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