Choose Life License Plate Rally
Special Report - May 20, 2010
Hundreds of pro-life North Carolinians are scheduled to gather in Raleigh on Tuesday, May 25, to urge the General Assembly to finally act on a bill that would give motorists in the state the opportunity to purchase a “Choose Life” specialty license plate. The “Free Speech, Why Not NC” rallywhich is scheduled for 11 A.M. at the main entrance to the General Assembly (Legislative Building)is sponsored by a coalition of pro-life organizations, including the Carolina Pregnancy Care Fellowship (CPCF), a statewide network of pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) that will distribute the funds raised from the sale of the specialty license plates to pregnancy resource centers in North Carolina. PRCs provide compassionate alternatives to abortion and help for women facing unplanned pregnancies.
The rally will highlight the fact that North Carolina is the only state in the Southeast to prohibit the purchase of “Choose Life” specialty license plates, while allowing motorists to purchase a variety of other specialty plates that support everything from sea turtles to shag dancing. A coalition of pro-life organizations, including North Carolina Right to Life (NCRTL), North Carolina Pro-Life Democrats (NCPLD), the Christian Action League, the Catholic Dioceses of Charlotte and Raleigh, NC Baptist Association, Civitas NC, and the North Carolina Family Policy Council, are trying to change that this session.
Rep. Mitch Gillespie, the principal sponsor of HB168Choose Life Special Plate, will be speaking at the rally, along with pro-life leaders and other legislators who support the bill. Rep. Gillespie first introduced “Choose Life” specialty plates legislation in 2001. Similar bills have been introduced in the House and Senate for the past eight years, but none have been allowed a vote in either chamber. Most of these bills have died in committee without ever seeing any action. HB 168 and S210the Senate version of the bill sponsored by Sen. Austin Allranare still eligible for consideration in the 2010 “Short” Session, which began earlier this week.
“We are calling on all pro-life North Carolinians to join us in Raleigh next Tuesday to rally for the ‘Choose Life’ specialty license plate, and ask the General Assembly to vote this session on this legislation that will help raise money for pregnancy resource centers that provide real life-saving choices for women facing unplanned pregnancies and for their unborn babies,” said Bill Brooks, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council. “Pro-life citizens of this state are tired of being denied the right to purchase a specialty license plate promoting life, while other groups seeking specialty license plates promoting everything from racing to AIDS awareness are granted approval. This issue is not going to go away.”
The “Free Speech, Why Not NC?” rally is scheduled for Tuesday, May 25, at 11 AM at the entrance to the General Assembly (Legislative Building) at 16 West Jones Street in Raleigh. Many Raleigh streets are one-way so you may want to download a map or get directions. You can also sign the petition in support of the “Choose Life” specialty plates. To date, over 2,500 North Carolinians have signed the petition.
To learn more about the “Choose Life” specialty plates issue in North Carolina, read our July/August 2009 article, “Unequal Treatment: State Lawmakers Deny Citizens the Opportunity to Buy ‘Choose Life’ Plates.” You can download a PDF version here. For a recent perspecitve from a national perspective, we encourage you to listen to our interview with Russ Amerling.
Copyright © 2010. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.