Introduced by Rep. Kathy Lohmer (R-Stillwater) and Sen. Jim Abeler (R-Anoka), HF 2998 / SF 2644 would require the Minnesota Department of Public Safety to create “Choose Life” license plates, with proceeds going to Positive Alternative to Abortion grantees (i.e. crisis pregnancy centers).
END OF SESSION UPDATE: The 2018 Minnesota Legislature adjourned on May 21st, and this bill did not meet legislative deadlines. Despite not getting traction this year, the fact that the bill was introduced shows that numerous state legislators would rather fund groups that actively dissuade women from abortion than clinics that provide medically accurate, comprehensive family planning services that help Minnesotans plan and space pregnancies.
Wait, what? That’s right, proceeds from the license plates (which are subsidized by taxpayers, by the way) would fund groups that actively dissuade or intentionally mislead women about their reproductive health care options.
Instead, we should be funding medically accurate efforts to reduce unplanned pregnancies.
If signed into law, the bill would require the Department of Public Safety to create and issue special “Choose Life” license plates beginning July 1, 2019. The license plates would be required to include an image of a child’s footprint on the left side of the plate and include an inscription that says “Choose Life” on the bottom of the plate.
Taxpayers should not have to subsidize political statement license plates. Especially statements they don’t agree with.
Let’s be clear: Lawmakers should keep their eyes on the road and listen to their constituents—Minnesotans overwhelmingly support the right to safe and legal abortion.
Plus, this bill could be challenged in court on the grounds that the license plate would be considered ‘state sponsored speech’ on a political issue (that means even more taxpayer dollars). State governments should not endorse speech representing only one side of an issue and they definitely shouldn’t play politics with women’s health.