Court: ‘Choose Life’ plates unconstitutional

Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Chris Woodward,Charlie Butts (

A federal judge has ruled North Carolina's "Choose Life" license plates unconstitutional -- largely because pro-abortion groups don't have one of their own, despite their attempts.

Pro-abortion groups attached six amendments to the "Choose Life" bill, all of which were rejected. Slogans for the proposed pro-abortion plates included "Trust Women. Respect Choice" and "Respect Choice." The author of the bill, State Representative Mitch Gillespie (R), suggested they float their own bill rather than trying to camp onto the pro-life legislation.

Mark Creech of the Christian Action League of North Carolina is disappointed in Judge James Fox's ruling and urges the state to appeal.

Creech, Mark (CAL)"Oddly enough, in a case in New York this exact argument -- viewpoint discrimination -- was used to support the issuance of Choose Life plates," he tells OneNewsNow. "So it's clear that there's much debate over this in terms of constitutionality, with most rulings favoring the plates."

Creech believes there ought to be a way to approve the pro-life plates without opening the door to an abortion giant such as Planned Parenthood.

"As evidence of this fact, Choose Life plates are available in some 28 states and pro-abortion plates are selling in only four of which I'm aware," he explains. "In fact, we're one of only two states in all of the Southeast that does not offer the plates."

Part of the Judge's ruling centered on whether the plates could be considered government speech, making it a constitutional issue. But Creech points out that "prior courts have ruled that the encouragement of child birth is a legitimate governmental objective."

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121112Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council and a former Louisiana state legislator, says he is hopeful pro-life groups in North Carolina will press forward and appeal the judge's ruling.

"We had the same thing in Louisiana [where] I was a co-author of that bill a number of years ago," he said Tuesday on American Family Radio. "It was challenged in court under the same argument that it's discriminating because it doesn't allow the other side to have a voice."


But as Perkins notes, pro-abortion groups have access to the same legislative process as do pro-life groups, but seem unable to find legislators who are "crazy enough" to push for pro-abortion plates.

"The thing that really gripes me is that simply because they can't muster any public support for their aberrant views, they say it's discrimination," he shared.

The FRC leader adds that Judge Fox's ruling is not novel. "Other lower-level courts have decided the same way, but were overturned on appeal," he pointed out. "So hopefully North Carolina will join the other states that have the same provision for the pro-life plates ...."

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