- Where did the Choose Life specialty plate concept originate?
County Commissioner Randy Harris initiated the effort in 1997 in Ocala, Florida.
- Why we sponsored this bill?
The Choose Life license plate promotes and financially supports adoption by helping crisis pregnancy centers, maternity homes, adoption agencies, and adoption-minded pregnant mothers with their prenatal and delivery expenses, temporary housing, transportation, utility bills, food, maternity clothing and similar expenses of infants until placed with an adoptive family.
- Who gets the money raised by Choose Life plate sales?
Non-governmental, not-for-profit agencies not involved in abortion services in any way who offer free counseling and services to women who are committed to making an adoption plan for their child.
- How much money do you expect to raise?
Naturally, this will depend on the number of people who choose this specialty plate. The Choose Life specialty plate in Florida has been on the road since August 2000 and over 39,000 vehicles proudly display this plate. It is raising over $750,000 a year. Over $6 million has already been realized in the State of Florida toward adoption.In Georgia, the Choose Life specialty plates have been on the road since October 2007. Specialty plate funds raised from tag sales October 2007 through October 2012 in the amount of $297,040. Funds are distributed quarterly to qualifying agencies.Forty Georgia agencies received funds with our latest distribution in May, 2011.
- How many states have approved the Choose Life specialty plate?
As of May 2011, 26 states have approved the plate (Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Tennessee and Utah.) In addition, there are support groups working to create plates in many other states.
- Why use the slogan, Choose Life, if the plate supports adoption efforts?
The Florida Choose Life organization determined that the slogan, Choose Life, would sell the most plates and thus raise the most funds for adoption efforts. Many more people indicated a willingness to purchase a Choose Life plate than a Choose Adoption or Support Adoption plate.The term, Choose Life, appeals to a wider audience: pro-adoption, pro-life, and anti-death penalty.
- What about lawsuits?
Three lawsuits were filed in Florida by the National Organization of Women (NOW), Planned Parenthood (PP), and the Committee for Reproductive Law and Policy (CRLP). All suits were lost by opposition.One suit was filed in Louisiana, and it was dismissed. It was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and on December 2, 2002, the Court refused to hear any further appeal. A second suit filed in Louisiana has been resolved in favor of the Choose Life tags. Choose Life tags are available in Louisiana.One suit was filed in South Carolina. The plate was ruled unconstitutional at the first hearing. The 4th Circuit Court has agreed with this ruling in South Carolina and the state has appealed. UPDATE: South Carolina approved the specialty plate in May 2008 with production of plates slated for October 2008!Illinois won it’s suit to have specialty plates produced but the State of Illinois filed an appeal in the 7th Circuit Court which it won. They are currently awaiting a decision from the US Supreme Court to hear their case.Cases are ongoing in California, New Jersey & New York.
(Check the National Choose Life web site for latest in state Choose Life activity.)