Rally Calls for "Choose Life" License Plates
Special Report - February 18, 2009
The “Why Not NC? Rally” held Tuesday in front of the North Carolina General Assembly in Raleigh brought attention to the fact that North Carolina is the only southern state that refuses to allow its citizens to purchase a “Choose Life” license plate. While North Carolina has approved 130 specialty plates, state lawmakers have been denied the opportunity for the last 9 years to vote to approve the sale of “Choose Life” plates in North Carolina. North Carolina Right to Life (NCRTL) and North Carolina Pro-Life Democrats (NCDFL) along with the North Carolina Family Policy Council and other organizations are trying to change that this session.
Rep. Mitch Gillespie (RMcDowell) introduced “HB 168‘Choose Life’ Special Plate” February 17 with a press conference and rally sponsored by NCRTL and NCDFL. The bill would direct proceeds from sales of the license plates “to the Carolina Pregnancy Care Fellowship, which shall distribute the money annually to nongovernmental, not-for-profit agencies that provide pregnancy services that are limited to counseling and/or meeting the physical needs of pregnant women.” In 2008, the more than 85 pregnancy care centers in NC provided services to over 46,000 men and women. Nationally, nearly $10 million has been directed to pregnancy care centers as a result of the purchase or renewal of “Choose Life” plates in the 22 states that offer them. A joint statement by Bishops Michael Burbidge and Peter Jugis of the Roman Catholic Dioceses of Raleigh and Charlotte, respectively, expressed dismay that anyone “would oppose assisting a needy pregnant woman who desires to bring her child to birth through funds raised from the sale of a license plate.”
The bill sponsors and organizations in favor of the bill asked citizens to submit letters to their local newspapers and respectfully contact their members of the legislature, as well as House Speaker Joe Hackney (DOrange) in support of the bill.
“North Carolina citizens are simply asking for the opportunity to purchase a license plate with a pro-life message that will provide financial resources to mothers and fathers in the midst of a difficult situation,” says John Rustin, director of government relations for the North Carolina Family Policy Council. “Considering the plethora of special license plates already approved by the General Assembly, including those for ‘Animal Lovers,’ ‘Harley Owners,’ ‘Save the Sea Turtles,’ ‘National Wild Turkey Federation,’ ‘Shag Dancing,’ and dozens of other interests, it is high time state lawmakers acted upon this legislation.”
Copyright © 2009. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.