RALEIGH (June 30, 2011)- NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina is disappointed that H.B. 289, an omnibus specialty license plate bill that includes one bearing the words “Choose Life,” was signed into law this week by Governor Bev Perdue. Proceeds from “Choose Life” plates will go to the Carolina Pregnancy Care Fellowship, an organization of 60 anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) in North Carolina. The bill specifically bars any organization, agency, business, or other entity that provides, promotes, counsels, or refers abortion from receiving any funds from the plates.
Crisis pregnancy centers claim to offer information about “all options” for pregnant women and particularly target those facing unintended pregnancies. Many offer free services including pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, provided by volunteers instead of medical professionals, to lure in women who are unable to afford these services otherwise. Executive Director, Carey Pope says, “Crisis pregnancy centers are unlicensed, unregulated organizations that often pose as medical facilities. They promote an anti-choice agenda that includes spreading false and misleading information about abortion services and contraception in an attempt to scare and coerce women to continue their pregnancies.”
At every step of the legislative process, a “Respect Choice” license plate was introduced as a counterpoint. Every time the measure was voted down, with anti-choice politicians stating they found the plate “offensive.” NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina is disappointed that the legislators who pushed through this measure deliberately chose to disregard the freedom of speech and freedom of opinion of their constituents. It is especially grievous that they did this after using the same principals to argue their own opinions. The people of North Carolinian deserve to have all their voices heard, not just those who happen to agree.