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Planned Parenthood license plates bill clears Va. Senate

Anne Bartlett

The Virginia Senate, controlled by Democrats, has passed a measure that would create a specialty state license plate with the message "Trust Women/Respect Choice." Some of the application fee money paid by drivers who select the plate would go to the Virginia League of Planned Parenthood.

Drivers in Virginia, which loves its vanity plates, already are allowed to select one with the logo "Choose Life."

Today's action put the Senate's bill on the issue in conflict with one passed by the Republican-controlled House of Delegates on Monday. Delegates chose to strip out Planned Parenthood funding and send the application fees for the plate to a state fund to help pregnant women instead.

Democrats in the Senate fended off an amendment to the bill from state Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonberg) that would have followed the House's lead, allowing the creation of the plates but without sending money to Planned Parenthood.

The group had pledged not to use any funds on abortions. But, said Obenshain, an abortion opponent, "Money is fungible. Talk is cheap. It's easy to make that kind of promise."

Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax), who proposed the plate, noted 400 Virginians have already paid for one, with the understanding their money would go to Planned Parenthood. She said the group had abided by regulations that govern the license plate program and argued that rejecting an abortion rights plate could endanger the constitutionality of Virginia's plate that urges people to "Choose Life."

"To adopt this amendment would be to single out this group and this license plate for disparate treatment," she said.

At her recommendation, the amendment was rejected. The bill that would create the plate, along with several other new license plates, passed on a 26 to 8 vote.

By By Rosalind S. Helderman  |  February 16, 2010; 2:52 PM ET
Categories:  General Assembly , General Assembly 2010 , Rosalind Helderman , State Senate  
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I don't get that whole "Planned Parenthood" concept. That puzzles me. Anyone can be a mother or father! We don't need no stinkin' PLANNING!!! Jeez. Every time a girl/woman gets pregnant, regardless of the circumstances, she should carry the fetus to term & give birth. No exceptions. Another thing I don't get: why are woman who DON'T want to get pregnant, getting pregnant? Not enough birth control devices available for y'all?

Posted by: uncivil | February 16, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

uncivil, are you kidding me? Planning one's parenthood is vital. My husband and I have used Planned Parenthood's low-cost services to access contraception, my annual gyno care, and when the time comes I plan on using one of their staffed NPs for my early pre-natal care. If you're so educated on contraception, you MUST know that no method is 100% effective and accidents do happen. Additionally, women continue to face financial, social, and personal barriers to contraception. I don't know why I'm engaging with you though... you seem to think that a woman who is raped should have to be pregnant for 9 months and then go through labor and childbirth (and as a birth doula *I* know that's no cup of tea). Get off your high horse and take a look at real life.

Posted by: cpcwatch | February 17, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

@uncivil- The "Choose Life" license plates funnel money to CPCs which are pro-life and often give misleading and inaccurate information to pregnant women. So if the choose life license plates funnel money to an organization, it is only fair and rational that the pro-choice license plates funnel money to a pro-choice organization. Also, birth control isn't 100% effective, so even if a woman is trying to plan ahead and use contraceptives, there is a chance it will fail. but luckily there are organizations that continue to advocate for womens rights, in spite of backward thinking people like you.

Posted by: dclady21 | February 17, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I was being sarcastic, kids. Birth control now. Birth control forever. Wake up women. You control your destiny. Not the Pope. Not the Sacred Holy Ghost Redeemer Sweet Baby Jesus Church. Not the rabid Republican conservatives.

Posted by: uncivil | February 18, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

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