By Joe Sutton, CNN
(CNN) - A federal judge ruled that North Carolina's new "Choose Life" license plates are unconstitutional because the state does not offer a pro-choice alternative.
"The State's offering a Choose Life license plate in the absence of a pro-choice alternative constitutes viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment," U.S. District Court Judge James Fox wrote in the ruling Friday.
The ruling was praised by the American Civil Liberties Union, which had filed a lawsuit in 2011 to stop the specialty plates.
"This is a great victory for the free speech rights of all North Carolinians, regardless of their point of view on reproductive freedom," said Chris Brook of the ACLU. "The government cannot create an avenue of expression for one side of a contentious political issue while denying an equal opportunity to citizens with the opposite view."
Republican state Rep. Mitch Gillespie, who sponsored the bill for the "Choose Life" plates, said he would push for an appeal of the judge's decision, CNN affiliate WRAL reported.
The bill for the license plates passed in 2011, and the legislation also mandated that money raised from the sale of the specialty plates would go to a nonprofit that supports crisis pregnancy centers, WRAL reported.
During the fight to get the bill passed, North Carolina lawmakers voted down amendments that would have created pro-choice alternatives such as "Trust Women. Respect Choice," the affiliate reported.
The "Choose Life" plates are available in 29 states, according to Choose Life Inc., a nonprofit that helps states that want to sell these specialty plates.
It is now illegal to say this (Choose Life) on a license plate and the ACLU says this in response: "This is a great victory for the free speech rights of all North Carolinians, regardless of their point of view on reproductive freedom," said Chris Brook of the ACLU. Hmmm, I don't understand how this is a victory for "free speech".
I'm sure you don't understand.
I guess reading is not your forte, you failed to read the very first sentence of this article.
You not getting it.
If you read the 1st sentence of the article, you might begin to have some awareness as to your question or misunderstanding.
Exactly why the choice isn't yours. If the government (NC) wishes to impose free speech then it must be equal for both arguments, not one sided. Is that simple enough for you Steve?
Wait, the ACLU is proclaiming a victory for free speech... by taking away free speech? Do we ban the breast cancer research support license plates because there is no alternative for those who DON'T support breat cancer resaerch? DO we ban the volunterr fire department license plates because there are no license plates for pyromaniacs? The ACLU sucks.
Sorry your argument doesnt work. There are no supporters of 'anti-breast cancer.' This issue clearly has two very divergent sides and the state actively supressed free speech for one opinion and endorsed it for the other side. So yes this is a protection of free speech by playing the states game and saying essentially 'if you dont want one side to have that right(proclaim your support for choice or life) then you cant have it either.' Since there are viable arguments for both sides you cannot equate it to your arguments that truly only have one pov.
Yes, I would ban all of them in full comfort that no speech was being limited. No one is stopping you from buying a bumper sticker, a plate holder or even spay painting your car. You have lots of speech options. What you can't have is the government offering an extra option with only a limited number of government approved choices.
The first amendment has absolutely no provision for whether something has "two sides" nor dies it address the span of divergent opinions. The availability of a license plate does not abridge one's right to either side of the argument. These are specious claims of an activist arguments.
Every one that is against breast cancer is anti-breast cancer.
What is the opposing argument for brest cancer research? And are you creating an argument for pyromaniacs? Dork!
Well said. These baby killers are stumbling in response to your logic.
"During the fight to get the bill passed, North Carolina lawmakers voted down amendments that would have created pro-choice alternatives such as “Trust Women. Respect Choice,” the affiliate reported."
It's not giving BOTH sides the free speech...
So, if libraries could only carry books espousing, say, a liberal point of view, that would be ok because that's promoting free speech? No, it would not be ok. The problem isn't the pro-life license plate, the problem is that the government is promoting one type of speech and blocking another kind of speech, even though both are perfectly legal.
Only for the new members of this blog: see p. 8 & p. 10 for added details-
The license plates in all states should read:
"THE BRUTAL EFFECTS OF STUPIDITY"–
The reality of se-x, abortion, contraception and STD/HIV control: – from an agnostic guy who enjoys intelligent se-x-
Note: Some words hyphenated to defeat an obvious word filter. ...
: The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill (8.7% actual failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% actual failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute. Unfortunately they do not give the statistics for doubling up i.e. using a combination of the Pill and a condom.
Added information before making your next move:
from the CDC-2006
"Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."
Consumer Reports, January, 2012
"Yes, or-al se-x is se-x, and it can boost cancer risk-
Here's a crucial message for teens (and all se-xually active "post-teeners": Or-al se-x carries many of the same risks as va-ginal se-x, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of or-al cancers in America in people under age 50.
"Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'" (It should be called the Bill Clinton Syndrome !!)
Obviously, political leaders in both parties, Planned Parenthood, parents, the "stupid part of the USA" and the educational system have failed miserably on many fronts.
The most effective forms of contraception, ranked by "Perfect use":
– (Abstinence, 0% failure rate)
– (Masturbation, mono or mutual, 0% failure rate)
One-month injectable and Implant (both at 0.05 percent)
Vasectomy and IUD (Mirena) (both at 0.1 percent)
The Pill, Three-month injectable, and the Patch (all at 0.3 percent)
Tubal sterilization (at 0.5 percent)
IUD (Copper-T) (0.6 percent)
Periodic abstinence (Post-ovulation) (1.0 percent)
Periodic abstinence (Symptothermal) and Male condom (both at 2.0 percent)
Periodic abstinence (Ovulation method) (3.0 percent)
Every other method ranks below these, including Withdrawal (4.0), Female condom (5.0), Diaphragm (6.0), Periodic abstinence (calendar) (9.0), the Sponge (9.0-20.0, depending on whether the woman using it has had a child in the past), Cervical cap (9.0-26.0, with the same caveat as the Sponge), and Spermicides (18.0).
Let's hear from the unwanted kids out there. Would you prefer you had been aborted? Yeah the government may have paid for my free lunches etc. Now, however, I've paid more than 16 thousand a year in taxes every year for the last 20 years. So the government is getting their money back.
Let me know the day a fetus can speak, dear. Until then, it doesn't have a say. Had you been aborted you'd never have known the difference, and neither would anyone else.
Consider yourself one of the lucky ones.
You weren't beaten every day of your life by a mother who resented being forced to give birth to you.
You weren't assaulted daily by the "uncle" your mother moved in with you to "take care" of her.
You weren't put out on the streets.
You didn't end up in an over crowded foster home.
Many, many unwanted children face this kind of life, and yes, I know at least one who has told me he would rather his mother had been allowed to abort him.
There is a strong correlation between legalization of abortion and a drop in crime rates two decades later. Children that are born from a wanted pregnancy are far more likely to grow up in a loving home, and far less likely to turn to crime.
Legal and available abortion is beneficial to society.
See Donohue and Levitt here: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=174508
I want one thay says: "Abort all neocons before they start multiplying." Or, how about, "Some call it incest, In S.C. we call it Keeping it in the Family." Or, "Make those 8 yr old tramps carry their Uncle's babies to term!"
No surprise. Every mention of abortion deteriorates into a shouting match.
Abortion isn't an easy issue, and we can't just turn it off. Child abuse and unwanted children are miserable, heartbreaking problems everywhere. Overpopulation is a huge problem globally. I don't even know how to begin to tell a woman how she should live during 9 months of pregnancy, and I have no desire to. I wish those who are pro-life would talk about those issues AT THE SAME TIME they discuss the single issue of abortion.
But it's also heartbreaking to kill a baby, and if a fetus is a viable human being at 26 weeks, how can we not call it murder? I wish pro-choice people would be willing to talk about that – what kind of society are we if we accept murder as an acceptable "choice"? And if abortion is not murder, when does a fetus stop and a baby begin?
Is anybody ready to talk about that stuff, or are we content with ugly name-calling and slinging mud?
Tough topic, tough questions for sure. Interestingly, because this article is in the Belief Blog, the church(generality) only recently began to change it's stance that life begins at birth.
"And if abortion is not murder, when does a fetus stop and a baby begin?"
That is the essential question, and there will always be a grey area. It will be difficult to convince a pro-choice person, like me, that a few days (or weeks) old clump of cells is a baby. On the other hand, at 26 weeks I also have a problem with abortion.
A Candid Conversation between Two Species
The Man: I am the predilect object of Creation, the centre of all that exists…
The Tapeworm: You are exalting yourself a little. If you consider yourself the lord of Creation, what can I be, who feed upon you and am ruler in your entrails?
The Man: You lack reason and an immortal soul.
The Tapeworm: And since it is an established fact that the concentration and complexity of the nervous system appear in the animal scale as an uninterrupted series of graduations, where are we cut off? How many neurons must be possessed in order to have a soul and a little rationality?
– Santiago Ramon y Cajal, Recollections of My Life
I don't believe abortion is legal past 24 weeks (except where the life of the mother is at stake) in any state anyway. So it's not an issue.
Put energy and time in PREVENTING unwanted pregnancies DUH
So if the state offered a plate that said "Choose Abortion" would everyone be happy?
We need to stop arguing about the semantic evils of abortion and concentrate on making it unnecessary. We need to encourage people to have abortions if they must, and make damn sure that the next generation doesn’t have to. Or that giving up children for adoption is a mature, honourable choice. Or that getting sterilized and adopting a used kid is even better.
"adopting a used kid", like buying a used Camaro. LOL
Fact is, there are far more foster kids than decent foster parents.
I wanted to "opt out" of my reproductive system by the time I was 25. I knew by then that I didn't want kids. I've NEVER changed my mind on that.
However I could not find a doctor who would do it because I was "too young" and "all women want children eventually".
To me, adopting a used kid is morally superior to spitting out crotch critters
I know EXACTLY what you mean.
I tried to get snipped for many, many years.
It wasn't until I became a parent in my late 20's that I was finally able to find a Doctor willing to perform the procedure, and even then it took numerous visits for me to convince him that I was serious. I encouraged him to check with my prior doctors so he could know that I had been asking for a vasectomy for 10 years.
Despite that long history and that I had the full support of my partner (and the mother of my child), I was still actively discouraged from going through with it.
To me, adopting a used kid is morally superior to spitting out crotch critters
You sir, are a fine human being. I agree, take care first of who's already here.
It should be law that if you want a child you should have to be married for at least a year, and should be required to prove the ability to financially support the child. (Any loving couple should be allowed to marry)
You brought financial responsibility into this? People today have the right to force others to pay for their irresponsible moves. They'll just crap out a kid and have others pay its way in the world. It's their right, dammit.
Wrong. Try again.
Many single women give birth and raise children very well. Being a good parent is not limited to being married. And being married is no guarantee of being a good parent.
When my girlfriend became pregnant, we weren't even co-habitating, let alone married.
7 years later we're still not planning on getting married and yet are successfully raising a healthy, happy, intelligent, well-adjusted child in a loving home.
To deny a child a complete family (mother figure, father figure) based on your poor choices is very selfish.
As a child of a single parent home, I disagree. Sometimes it is the absolute best thing for that child.
What matters is love, support, education. The number of adults providing that is less important.
Yes, you need a plate that reads "dont want the financial responsibility" plate for counter. If one would murder a pregnant woman that's considered double homicide, correct? .
Yes, dumbbell. Because YOU don't get to make the choice for her. Fetal homicide laws exclude abortion. Read something.
If one would murder someone with split-personality disorder, that's considered double homicide, correct?
@Fetus is not a character in Gunsmoke
LOL ! :D
So if you want people to promote a theme like "Love thy neighbor" they need to create ones that state "I hate you and will kill you" ?! That is crazy
Yes, that is crazy, just like your totally off-base analogy.
They need to create platess that have the state's name only.
No. However, I don't think there's an issue with presenting a counter-argument to "My invisible friend on a cloud believes abortions are bad! Well, he never *actually* said that they're bad, anywhere in the book that a bunch of semi-literate goat herders wrote about him 2000+ years ago, but my fat red neck wifebeating pastor told me he can read his mind, and he told me they're bad. Praise Jesus!"
I believe the bible is nothing more than a collection of folk tales and fables, but I find your assertion that it was written by "a bunch of semi-literate goat herders ... about ... 2000+ years ago" to be off on at least three counts. First, the way it was written can hardly be called "semi-literate". Second, the authors were hardly goat herders. They were the elite leasure class of their time. How else could they have afforded writing materials?. Finally, the new testament was written about 1800 years ago and the old testament was written a good seven hundred years before that, possibly more. Giving an age of 2000 years indicates you don't know that much about the subject, making your attack less effective.
Simply stating that it was written by the ruling class to control semi-literage goat herders is far closer to the mark.
Separation of State and Church. Please people look at the facts and history- you are pushing your religion beliefs on others by not respecting pro choice rights. This country is about freedom not religious and moral repression. When you tell women they must have babies they don't want or can't afford and them THAT is repression and takes her rights to her OWN body away from her!
Thats a great quote man
But that's what Christians do. They are obsessed with what other's are doing with their own bodies or their lifestyles. Christians must stay awake all night worrying about what two grown consenting men or women might be doing in the privacy of their own homes.
All the plate says is "Choose Life". I thought liberals were pro-choice? It doesn't say "stop abortion" or anything like that. Do you want to see a plate that says "Choose Abortion" with pictures of aborted fetuses?
As long as everyone gets to kill a baby, it's OK. ....Moron!
'During the fight to get the bill passed, North Carolina lawmakers voted down amendments that would have created pro-choice alternatives such as “Trust Women. Respect Choice,” the affiliate reported.'
This is why.
Just replace it with something more befitting NC, like "Choose Ignirance" or "Stay Stoopid".
haha were not as bad as we used to be
If you don't like the pro-life plates, don't pay for them. They aren't required. Just get the regular state plate or pay for another charity you support or come out with a pro-choice option. Don't take other people's right to express their views away because you don't like what they have to say.
...someone didn't read or comprehend the article.
haha yeah guest you didn't even read the article at all. Go back and read and comprehend the article and then come back and give an intelligent reply
I look around and think to myself "We need more abortions".
I like you.
Yeah it is crazy its allowed in 29 states, I would be offended seeing on that on a state or federal property. Keep it on your bumper stickers and picket signs but not on license plates. Big win for NC. I'm proud of the state it really has starting changing since the last 20 years
Help control the people population.
Have your children spayed or neutered.
All I ever hear is anti-abortion, but I never hear anyone attacking the root of the issue – birth control and education. Open discussion about issues. IF you don't want abortion, fine, then stop crying when someone tries to discuss birth control like an adult.
There's the rub, sir.
A lot of the anti-abortion crowd also support abstinence only se.x education, which is proven to be totally inneffective.
We don’t educate our kids, we don’t give them ideals, goals, or any mental equipment. We say “here, have a condom. No, I can’t tell you more, or your parents will sue. Sure, you’ll have s.ex anyway, but we can’t give the impression that we approve, so we just won’t tell you about how to handle it if it does happen.”
Worse, people have been indoctrinated into believing that babies are great and will make them special, important people.
Execute a 14 year old black kid? Sure! Kill a baby? The horror!
It’s all in the timing, I guess.
People think that being a mother is good, except we tell them not to get pregnant.
Motherhood is grand, but it’ll wreck your life.
If you give up a kid for adoption, you’re a failure!
If you get pregnant, you’re a failure!
Has anyone here actually received an abortion? Tell us your story.
I haven't had an abortion, but I once had a wart removed. Does that count?
My mother aborted me.
By age 45 one in three US women will have an abortion. If you think you don't know anyone who has, that's proably because you haven't been pegged as a good listener on the topic. Everyone I know knows I have no issues with abortionand considerit awise choice in many instances. As a result I've had lots of women tell me their experiences, noneof which were traumatic. The only bad story is of a woman who couldn't get the abortion as soon as she wanted because of all the success the anti-choice people have had in shutting down offices and restricting options. She was in tears having to wait two weeks for an appointment, which is about the most immoral thingtheanti-choice people havedone. But allIknow believe they made the rightdecision.
My Baby died at about 8 weeks they had me go in for a dnc to remove everything. They use meds to open your cervix, insert a vacuum basically, and suck everything out. I wasn't given the choice of a sedative. I cried and cramped the whole time it felt awful.
I don't understand how women can use it as birth control. It's very painful and emotional.
I knew a woman that had an abortion at over 20 weeks because she was fighting with her husband. She was a nut case and went on to have more babies with him.
Thanks for sharing Leslie, I'm sorry for your loss.
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.