Pro-Abortion License Plate Bill Dies in California Assembly

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by Stephen Wynne  •  •  September 13, 2017   

Pro-life advocates laud defeat of abortion mill money-making scheme

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SACRAMENTO ( - Golden State pro-life advocates are hailing the defeat of a pro-abortion measure in the California legislature.  

Last week, lawmakers in Sacramento blocked SB309, which would have introduced pro-abortion license plates into California and funneled proceeds to abortion mills throughout the state.

Though sailing through the California Senate, the bill died at the hands of the Assembly Appropriations Committee, one of the dozens of measures blocked for their expense.

According to an analysis by the non-partisan group California Matters, "[T]he Assembly Appropriations Committee estimated it would cost the up to $590,000 to create the specialized license plate, including computer programming changes, new forms and administrative costs. The state would have been reimbursed by the fees Californians would have paid to get the plate."

Sponsored by NARAL Pro-Choice California, the bill was introduced in February by Democratic Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson of Santa Barbara as a way of "resisting" the advance of pro-life initiatives under President Trump.

"Senate Bill 309 will provide a way for Californians who are deeply troubled by the federal attack on women's rights and health care to take their values 'to the street,'" Jackson said in a May statement, "while providing a vital funding mechanism for California's network of reproductive health care providers."

"In California, we are pro-choice, in our laws and in our Constitution and that's the message that will be expressed here on behalf of the government," she added.

Jackson expressed disappointment at the defeat but said she intends to re-introduce her bill in the future.

The bill's failure represents a victory for the California Pro-Life Council (CPLC), which fought hard to defeat SB309.

Earlier this year, CPLC executive director Brian Johnston testified before a Senate panel on the measure, noting that abortion is "a government-sponsored industry" and explaining that SB309 supporters "are here to get more government money."

"This government-sponsored industry brings great pressure against young mothers," he said. "And if this is about choice — the other choice is letting the child live."

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Johnston also noted that currently, California doesn't allow residents the option of choosing pro-life license plates. "Thirty-seven states have license plates that affirm life," he noted. "And we would suggest, in order to make this a balanced bill and not an ideological one, there would be license plates offered to affirm the choice to keep the child and care for that vulnerable child."

Wynette Sills, director of Sacramento-based Californians for Life, has said she would like to see pro-life plates introduced in the state but added this would take "a miracle," owing to "the pro-abortion position of two-thirds of our state legislators."

Across the United States, "Choose Life" license plates have raised millions of dollars to help pregnant women and to promote adoptions. In Indiana, the "Choose Life" license plate has raised more than $650,000 for the pro-life cause while Ohio's initiative has raised more than $500,000. In both states, more than 25,000 drivers have chosen to display the pro-life message on their plates.


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