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Ohio Governor Signs Bill to Sell “Choose Life” Plates

Governor Bill Taft (R) of Ohio signed a bill last week authorizing the sale of license plates imprinted with the message “Choose Life,” the proceeds of which will benefit non-profit groups that counsel pregnant women on adoption services. The groups would not be eligible to receive funds if they also gave referrals to abortion providers, according to the Associated Press.

The American Civil Liberties Union has announced that it will consider a court challenge to the license plates, the Associated Press reports. There are currently 10 states in which “Choose Life” license plates can be bought, reports the Toledo Blade, with sales of such plates being blocked by legal challenges in three additional states: Louisiana, Tennessee, and South Carolina.

Last month, the US Supreme Court declined to consider whether states may offer license plates with anti-abortion messages. A lower court had ruled in favor of the plaintiff, Planned Parenthood of South Carolina, finding the state’s “Choose Life” plates to be a violation of First Amendment rights. The plates did not offer abortion rights supporters a similar forum to express their dissenting views, which Planned Parenthood argues is a form of viewpoint discrimination.

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Sources:

Toledo Blade 2/16/05; Associated Press 2/15/05; Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report 2/17/05; Feminist Daily News Wire 1/25/05

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