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'Choose Life' license plates ruled unconstitutional in North Carolina
December 11th, 2012
01:13 AM ET

'Choose Life' license plates ruled unconstitutional in North Carolina

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.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Abortion • Courts • North Carolina

soundoff (3,213 Responses)
  1. Guy

    chad
    not a chance, regardless of the law, how far are you willing to go on that track, preventing women from entering family planning clinics? Just asking.

    December 11, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      very identifiable human body parts!

      December 11, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • sam

      AH, aren't you bored yet?

      I can't imagine you ever having to deal with this question in the first place, since the chance of anyone wanting to procreate with your sorry ass is very small.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • Mrs. Pepperpot

      Women who obtain abortion represent every religious affiliation. 43% of women obtaining abortion identify themselves as Protestant, and 27% as Catholic; and 13% of abortion patients describe themselves as born-again or Evangelical Christians.

      Religion clearly has nothging to do with abortions.
      And it is CLEARLY nunya.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • rAmen

      tell me which body part is which in a 6 week old embryo?

      December 11, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • adam

      Nunya lmao hahahaha

      December 11, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  2. Atheist Hunter

    "What an irony that a society confronted with plastic bags filled with the remains of aborted babies should be more concerned about the problem of recycling the plastic"...

    ~ Winifred Egan; Supporter of Right to Life ~

    December 11, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Kathy0715

      Hey, speaking of abortion waste products......Do you know who has made millions off of that exact business?......Willard Romney, the anti-choice group's pick for President. Ain't that a hoot?

      December 11, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Saraswati

      What amazes me is that people who fight for the rights of embryos with less cognitive power than my dog are the same people who deny global warning and will ultimately condemn all our children to extinction.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Al

      FYI, atheists don't need to be hunted. You can find them everywhere. God on the other hand...

      December 11, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Bet

      @Saraswati

      They are also the people who wash their hands of these same embryos once they are born into real, living babies. They are the ones who are voting for cuts to services and health care for these deadbeat babies.

      December 11, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Bet, yep, not always, but a good 80-90% of the time those are the very same people.

      December 11, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
  3. Atheist Hunter

    “Destruction of the embryo in the mother’s womb is a violation of the right to live which God has bestowed on this nascent life. To raise the question whether we are here concerned already with a human being or not is merely to confuse the issue. The simple fact is that God certainly intended to create a human being and that this nascent human being has been deliberately deprived of his life. And that is nothing but murder.”

    ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

    December 11, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      The above is nothing more than one mentally ill believer's opinion.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      you seem to think we should value this person's opinion for some reason.

      December 11, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Bet

      So? He was just another male religious nut who wanted to impose his belief system on others. Are you going to post what the Pope says about abortion next? We're all waiting to see what pearls of wisdom he has on the subject.

      December 11, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  4. Atheist Hunter

    “Abortion is murder in the womb...A child is a gift of God. If you do not want him, give him to me.”

    ~Mother Teresa~

    December 11, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Mother Teresa thought that people suffering before they died were a gift from god, she was a loon.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Not everyone thinks someone representing the anti-condom machine in the day and age of AIDS is deserving of "sainthood".

      December 11, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • sam

      The irony is killing me.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Which God?

      No AH= A$$ Hole, we'll give them to YOU. YOU can feed them, cloth them and send them off to college. Put your money where your mouth is. You talk good, but you aren't doing anything are you? No, you are too busy, right? You cry for those you can do nothing for, but not willing to be a stand up man and take one of those unwanted children when they are born.The fact of life is just that: the pregnancy is unwanted. BTW you are sitting in judgement of the mother. Tsk,tsk. I though your goD was supposed to do that, not you. Got any more stones for the glass house you live in?

      December 11, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Bet

      Mother Teresa was a delusional old hag who refused pain medication for dying patients.

      December 11, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  5. sam

    I see the BS rhetoric machine is in full swing here today, so here: let me add to it for fun.

    The moment there's an in utero test for homosexuality, every one of you fundie bastards will be lining up for abortions, claiming it's God's will.

    There. See, isn't that silly?

    December 11, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  6. BigPeble

    We have the same license plate in AZ, so hopefully we can either get the opposing view plates made, or the Choose Life ones removed.

    December 11, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  7. Doc Vestibule

    "I do not believe that just because you're opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don't? Because you don't want any tax money to go there. That's not pro-life. That's pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is."

    – Sister Joan Chittister

    December 11, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • sam

      I agree with her. But someone will come along to complain that she's not a 'real nun' in 3, 2, 1....

      December 11, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Akira

      Sister Joan is absolutely correct.
      Most people give two sh!ts what happens after the birth, which is why I absolutely can't abide the hypocrisy of the "pro-birthers".

      December 11, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Bet

      That is why it's properly called Anti Choice, not Pro Life. But then, it wouldn't have quite the same ring to it.

      December 11, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  8. lol??

    When are they gonna rule on "To Serve and Protect"?

    December 11, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • lol??

      It isn't a cop when he's in a cruiser.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  9. fiftyfive55

    So many people nowadays are so good with words and debates that they have convinced people that it's okay to abort babies.Everybody knows that it's wrong to kill babies but they are easily swayed and hear only what is convenient for themselves.I know I'm going to get a lot of flack for this statement but the fact of the matter is it's true.

    December 11, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • sam stone

      fiftyfive55: it is not a fact, it is an opinion. try to understand the difference

      December 11, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • sam

      It's true for you. It doesn't make it right for everyone else. Most types of abortion are not 'killing babies'. How's the weather in your black and white, narrow world?

      December 11, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Not everyone thinks a zygote, fetus, or embryo is a "baby". And not everyone is swayed by personal "convenience". I have zero chance of every being involved in a pregnancy, wanted or not, so I have no personal stake. As an outside observer I think allowing abortion is better for our society and it's indivicuals as a whole. I do not consider beings with less cognitive capacity than a chicken to be "individuals".

      December 11, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • fiftyfive55

      Thank you three for reinforcing my statement

      December 11, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @fiftyfive55, since I clearly pointed out how this has no bearing on my personal convenience you obviously either didn't bother to read what we wrote, or want to go one with blinders on to avoid the risk of learning anything at all.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • sam

      55 imagines everything proves its point.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • fiftyfive55

      @sarswati-you are the one who should read what was written before you,I said the people would use the gift of gab to justify baby killing and the three of you did just that

      December 11, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Brian K

      They are disagreeing with you....not using some sort of "gift". Unfortunately, you have a very superficial understanding of the issue. The world isn't black and white, yet that is all you perceive.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @fiftyfive55, OK, sorry, I didn't realize you wanted us to defend our positions without using language. Is that why the anti-abortionists so often resort to bombs and guns?

      December 11, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Bet

      Your comments are the equivalent of a four year old sticking her fingers in her ears and saying "I can't hear you".

      Then again, you believe in sky fairies and talking snakes, so maybe you really think my words have some sort of "magic".

      December 11, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  10. Atheist Hunter

    “There are two victims in every abortion: a dead baby and a dead conscience.”

    ~ Mother Teresa

    December 11, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Kathy0715

      Mother Teresa is responsible for thousands of children dying of starvation and disease in India. She is no saint.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Mother Teresa did business with dictators and criminals, she is no one to look to for morality.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • sam stone

      Wow, A**H***, a quote! Very impressive indeed.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • fiftyfive55

      hey Kathy,how many abortions have you had ?

      December 11, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      55,

      How many abused children have you counseled?

      December 11, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • sam

      Hey 55, how much unprotected sex have you had?

      December 11, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Al

      As a person born to a teen mom, I can promise you that I was a victim BECAUSE of people like you. Abortion is the kindest and most compassionate option for people who find themselves pregnant and yet unprepared for a child. You "pro-lifers" should change your slogan to "pro-torture-unwanted-children".

      December 11, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Kathy0715

      55: I haven't had any abortions, but I have taken care of hundreds of abused and tortured babies and children who suffered their entire lives because they were born to people who never wanted them in the first place. Every baby born should be wanted and loved.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • fiftyfive55

      @Kathy-you just keep ignoring abstinence,morals,responsibility as if they were the actual problems.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Which God?

      Folks, don't worry about fifty-five55, s/he just openly displaying their IQ., and proud of it.

      December 11, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Bet

      Mother Teresa put billions directly into the Vatican Bank for general use, even when it was specifically earmarked for charitable use, including over $1 million in stolen funds from Charles Keating.

      December 11, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  11. The Truth

    Fact – In the US in 1911 the infant mortality rate was 135 babies died per 1000 born, now we have only about 10 per 1000 because of advanced medical procedures. So was God responsible for natures poor performance or were those babies unworthy? The number of abortions each year in the US pales in comparison to the number of fetuses nature has aborted through the years.

    December 11, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • lol??

      Is that why you kiss the ground when your plane lands? Good ol' mudder earth rules.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  12. there is no other truth but truth absolute, and truth absolute is LORD AND GOD OF THE WORLD.

    Humans, I always wanted "My Other Cart Is Don'key Cart", but my government, sec u'lair s, denier of truth absolute GOD, ruled un consti tutional too, goo ns

    December 11, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Which God?

      Lord and God of the World. Man, you've been watching too much Inky and the Brain cartoons. You are a brainwashed, impotent little man. Sacred of Living and of dying, aren't you?

      December 11, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • there is no other truth but truth absolute, and truth absolute is LORD AND GOD OF THE WORLD.

      Which GAWD? I just finished watching "Fritz the Cat", filthy brainwahing toon, denier of truth absolute GOD, "Sacred of Living and of dying, aren't you?" ???? learn to spell, goon

      December 11, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Which God?

      Hey Lord of the schiit. Call me a goon, I'll track your IP. Want to see what happens when my fist hits your mouth?

      December 11, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      absurdity of an atheist, nick name for Athief, denier of truth absolute GOD, secular s, gangster of Satan, goon

      December 11, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Mohammad A Dar

      Hey Secular ism, GOD is threatening me, can you show him his Hind?

      December 11, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  13. Bob Dalzell

    Can't they make one that says "Mind your own business"?

    December 11, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  14. N.S.

    Abortion s not "Baby killing", according t o the Bible!
    The anti-abortion "Life" argument is a fake anti- Biblical lie.
    A fetus is not human life according to the Bible, see / compare
    'If a man kills any human life he will be put to death' (Lev. 24:17). But according to Exodus 21:22–24, the destruction of the fetus is not a capital offense
    Human life begins at birth, the anti-abortion people are wrong!.

    December 11, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Jim

      2 “If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely[a] but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. 23 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,

      FYI... Christians live under the grace of Jesus Christ not the law He came to save us from.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • JoeyE

      umm in womb, a baby starts their heartbeats when it was 27 days of germinating so it is still alive! even you take the baby out of womb.. you'll see baby awake and going to die.. you're wrong.. life came out once it beats their heart even before.. cells are producing/dividing its own

      December 11, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Sure it is, read it all. It's a matter of accidental or deliberate. Abortion would have been capital.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • sam stone

      Jim: Interesting that you desire eternity with a being from whom you have to be saved

      December 11, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Bet

      Human life doesn't begin with a heartbeat in a clump of cells, it begins with the first breath outside the womb. Even your babble book says that Adam didn't live until god breathed life into him.

      Your god doesn't seem to care about babies once they are born either. He slaughters millions every time he has a temper tantrum of some sort.

      December 11, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  15. Atheist Hunter

    If it isn't a baby, then you aren't pregnant, so what are you aborting? ~Author Unknown

    December 11, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Saraswati

      "Abortion" refers to the pregnancy. You are aborting a pregnancy, which is made up of a zygote, embryo and fetus. At birth, the fetus becomes and infant. These are all technical terms used in the medical community. Maybe an anatomy class would help, or medical terminology?

      December 11, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Saraswati,

      Once again they want to be able to define the 'terms', it is a continuing theme.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • The Truth

      Stop making so much sense Sara, you are ruining their false narrative...

      December 11, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      I just love your name Atheist Hunter. The reason I love it, (as an Atheist myself) is that YOU are doing more to help MY SIDE of things, even with just your silly name. People are leaving churches, (even Pat Robertson admits the bible is wrong about the age of the earth and said, "If you go against science you're going to lose your kids." ) No amount of reason and logic that I can use will do as much for MY CAUSE as you. You come off as a member of the Taliban. There is really not much difference between you and a Taliban I imagine, you are both violent, fanatical, and can not use reason. THANKS AGAIN.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • Bet

      Author unknown? So why should we care what this unknown person says?

      December 11, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  16. NHJ

    THE ACLU STINKS!!!!!!!! EVERYTIME GOD IS MENTIONED OR A CHRISTIAN BELIEF IS EXPRESSED THE ACLU HAS TO SQUASH IT.

    December 11, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Kathy0715

      Calm down before you have a stroke. You know who loves the ACLU......Rushbo Limbaugh.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Saraswati

      The ACLU has never complained about anything done on church property or in private homes. It's when you start putting your religion into activities of the state that someone has to step in.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • sam stone

      The ACLU advocates for conservative causes as well, NHJ. Enjoy your hissy fit

      December 11, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Brian K

      I hate people who don't respect the American value of the separation of church and state. Put a bumper sticker for your stupid religious beliefs on your car...don't have the state print extremely ugly license plates.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  17. hate everyone

    What should be surprising, but isn't, is the number of morons not unsderstanding that the gov't can't support one opinion and block the other and pretty much the same morons not understaing that being pro-choice isn't actually being pro-abortion, but is in reality a position not in favor of allowing the same type of moron as mentioned in the preceding the right to make moral decisions for anyone.

    December 11, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Saraswati

      It's blinders. Most people see only what they want to see.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • mialax

      Brilliant!

      December 11, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  18. Atheist Hunter

    I've noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born. ~Ronald Reagan

    December 11, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Your god does not have a problem killing those already born, why would he have an issue with abortion?

      December 11, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Huebert

      That might be because people who haven't been born don't exist.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • sam stone

      "mommy, i've soiled my pants, can you clean me up again?" – ronald reagan

      December 11, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • sam stone

      while we are at it, A**H***, god aborts millions through miscarraige....and he has not been born

      December 11, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      And we all agree with everything Ronnie said. . .

      December 11, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Bet

      That restaurant is so busy, no one goes there anymore. -Yogi Berra

      December 11, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  19. Ralph

    I think the fact that we have "In God We Trust" on our money.....is the same issue. We should have some bills with "We don't Trust God"!

    December 11, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      We should have neither, gov't should be nuetral on the issue.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Well I may be biased but I think we should have "In Santa We Trust".

      December 11, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  20. lunchbreaker

    The real lesson we should tak away is this: If you are going to advertise your beliefs on your car, drive courteously.

    December 11, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
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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.