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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. Nietodarwin

    There are PLENTY of orphans all over and in this country. You pro lifers want a newborn, but you won't take care of a TODDLER, A CHILD, AN ADOLESCENT . You vote for people who want to hurt the kids already in need, and you can't listen to math, science, or reason because you are addicts. Religion is addiction.

    December 11, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • The Life of 3.14

      So....it's the responsibility of those who don't get knocked up and have unwanted babies to take on the responsibility of other people's mistakes? That's setting a good standard.

      December 11, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Go abort yourself and then we'll think about what you had to say.

      December 11, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • lol??

      Bubba, please stop! Not tonite, I have a headache.

      December 11, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • Huebert

      @Life of 3.14

      It is the responsibility of those who would prohibit abortion to help alleviate the already strained adoption system.

      December 11, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Lisa

      Well said!

      December 11, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • The Life of 3.14

      Or if those that are having unwanted children (after they abort their child) can go into the next room and get fixed. Go grab the idiot guy too while they are at it.

      December 11, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • The Life of 3.14

      Wouldn't that alleviate the already strained adoption system and slowly cut down on abortions?

      December 11, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Huebert

      @LIfe of 3.14

      So you are for forced sterilization? Ever herd of eugenics, that is where the idea originated. Do you know who was one of the most famous proponents of eugenics?

      December 11, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • The Life of 3.14

      Hue- you don't need to go down a Hitler Fallacy. This is about responsibility for one's actions. If you are going to go knocking up women (or let yourself get knocked up) and not face the reality of what you are doing...then you should have that responsibility taken away from you.
      Heck, let's co_mpromise. We can make it optional. Right next to the abortion clinic they can have a place for them to get fixed. Can even put up a big sign saying, "Tired of getting knocked up? Abortions taking up too much of your time? Come on in and take care of it forever. We'll even give a two for one deal if you bring in the literal d i ck who did this to you".

      December 11, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Huebert

      @3.14

      I'm all for optional sterilization, I do believe that it could be an effective way to reduce abortions and unwanted children. Really it's a win, win.

      December 11, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • The Life of 3.14

      I'm glad we agree. Though for some nagging reason I have a feeling that women right's groups wouldn't agree. Though they have no good reason not to.

      December 11, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  2. ReligiousGuy

    So this is how republicans are wasting taxpayer money .... by filing appeals for something useless :)

    December 11, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  3. MrsFizzy

    License plates are issued by the state – why do we HAVE to have "vanity plates" anyway? This doesn't exist in other countries & people who can't keep their views to themselves can slap bumper stickers all over their cars instead. I know it is to make money, but they should be completely non-partisan, non-religious if it's done at all.

    December 11, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • lol??

      Invisible plates would be fine. The socie cops might not like it, though.

      December 11, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Bet

      It's a big source of revenue for the states.

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

    "There was this tremendous conflict going on within me. Here I am, doing my D&C's [an early
    term suction abortion], 5 and 6 a week, and I'm doing salines on a nightly basis whenever I was
    on call...They were horrible, because you would see one intact, whole baby being born, and sometimes they were alive. And that was a very stomach-turning kind of existence."
    –Dr. Anthony Levantino (one-time abortionist)

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

      Yep, gonna donate more $ to an abortion clinic every time you post.

      December 11, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • rAmen

      do you ever think for yourself?

      December 11, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • The Life of 3.14

      Curiosu ramen, are you critical of the atheists when they use quotes but no individual thought?

      December 11, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Here is a link to a pro pregnancy website. It is a drawing of what a 5 week fetus looks like. Show me specifically where this blob of cells looks like a child –

      http://www.babycenter.com/fetal-development-images-5-weeks

      Why do you fundiot nutters lie? Is it pleasing to your god to watch you cretins make fools of yourselves?

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

    "Fetal tissue' implants are not that much different from Nazi lamp shades made of Jewish skin. Both intend to put by-products of murder to good use."
    –David Kupelian and Mark Masters (American Journalists)

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

      That's another dollar, keep going

      December 11, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  6. Atheist Hunter

    "We fed the public a line of deceit, dishonesty, a fabrication of statistics and figures. We
    succeeded because the time was right and the news media cooperated. We sensationalized
    the effects of illegal abortions, and fabricated polls which indicated that 85 percent of the public
    favored unrestricted abortion, when we knew it was only 5 percent. We unashamedly lied, and
    yet our statements were quoted [by the media] as though they had been written in Law."
    –Dr. Bernard Nathanson
    Co-founder of National Assn. for Repeal of Abortion
    Laws (now called National Abortion Rights Action
    League) Today, Dr. Nathanson is a pro-life activist

    December 11, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • sam

      Another dollar to the abortion clinic, every time you post.

      December 11, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  7. Reality

    The license plates in all states should read:

    "STOP THE BRUTAL EFFECTS OF STUPIDITY"–

    Added details:

    from the Guttmacher Insti-tute:

    "• Fifty-four percent of women who have abortions had used a contraceptive method (usually the condom or the pill) during the month they became pregnant. Among those women, 76% of pill users and 49% of condom users report having used their method inconsistently, while 13% of pill users and 14% of condom users report correct use."

    December 11, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  8. Atheist Hunter

    "It is a strange bit of reasoning–and a strange period in a nation's history–when its citizens
    earn the 'right' to kill their own children. How has mankind managed such a feat? And why
    does the abortion industry oppose adoption so strongly?" –Anonymous

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

      That's another donation.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  9. Atheist Hunter

    "I have this dream that I hear a baby crying and thee another. I go to a closet door and open it.
    Out falls a hundred babies' bodies." –Abortion victim

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

      Now we've got imaginary quotes from aborted babies. That's adorable!

      One more donation to an abortion clinic. Keep posting, idiot.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Akira

      What pure, unadulterated, bullsh!t.
      -Akira

      "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."

      Start saving the fetus' at your own church.

      December 11, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  10. Nietodarwin

    There is the Taliban and Al-queda. They are enemies to our country. They are religious fanatics, their faith in their god makes it impossible to reason with them and they must be put into submission. There is the Evangelical Christian "wrong" wing. They are enemies to our country. They are religious fanatics, their faith in their god makes it impossible to reason with them, and they must be put into submission.

    December 11, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • lol??

      ".....they must be put into submission."... Bubba wants you. Real bad!

      December 11, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  11. dee

    I know 5 people who have had abortions. all who regret it. If the people in the state of north carolina who do not believe in pro-choice should NOT BUY THE LICENSE PLATE. NOBODY is forcing you to buy it. PUT pro-choice on your bumper instead . DUMB BUTTS!!!

    December 11, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Huebert

      I know 4 people who have had abortions, none of them regret it. If you want to be pro-birth, buy a bumper sticker.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • sam

      How do you know 5 people who've had abortions? What the hell goes on in your town??

      December 11, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Nietodarwin

      This also has been said MANY times to many a "pro lifer" on here, READ THE ARTICLE AGAIN (so you can see why you are wrong to say that, IF you can see why) MY GOD (figure of speech, I KNOW there isn't a god) MY GOD all you ignorant right wing people keep saying the same thing, thinking you are original. You don't even bother to READ THE ARTICLE let alone READ A FEW PAGES OF COMMENTS before spouting off. You are all HELPING MY SIDE OF THE DISCUSSION by showing your ignorance, (of basic reading comprehension, basic biology, basic civics and basic American History.) Thank you, but shooting fish in a barrel is not that fun.

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

      Go to a civics class and then think about what you just posted, dumb butt.

      December 11, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  12. Atheist Hunter

    To say a child is unwanted says nothing about the child, but it says much about the person who does not want his or her child. –Jean Staker Garton

    December 11, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Huebert

      So you've adopted several crack babies, right?

      December 11, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • The Life of 3.14

      @Hue- I find it funny you expect a person to clean up a two-fold mess of another person. Or are you saying that getting knocked up is excusable if you are on something?

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

      @Life – so you think of children as a mess?

      December 11, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  13. Atheist Hunter

    Abortion not only increases the rate of child battering at present; it will increase the tendency
    to batter and abort in succeeding generations. –Prof. Philip G. Ney

    December 11, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • sam

      LOL

      December 11, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  14. Atheist Hunter

    You are precious in My eyes, and honored, and I love you...I am with you; I will being your
    offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you...Bring My sons from afar and My daughters from the end of the earth, every one who is called by My name, whom I created for
    My glory, whom I formed and made. –Isaiah 43:4-7

    December 11, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • sam

      You should stop wasting time and get out there, right now, and save some babies.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      sam i am....i'm fighting the hate filled atheists and liberal on this blog who want to see beautiful tiny babies torn apart limb from limb and thrown in dumpsters. little hands and feet and all, all human remains.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Kathy0715

      Hey Hunter, how many abused and unwanted children have you adopted?

      December 11, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • sam

      Yeah...you're not really gonna have much affect here, you're just attention whoring like you always do.

      Every time you post from now on I'm going to go donate to an abortion clinic. How much $ would you like to raise, today?

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

      You aren't saving anyone, but you are providing a lot of lols.

      December 11, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  15. Nietodarwin

    Well, we're up to over 2000 comments. Several hundred have had the "choose death" quote from different bible thumpers (eah who thinks it's some cute orinal thing that THEY just thought up. There are MANY MANY more from militant atheists like myself who are so sick of religion in government (and in education and in general) that we are almost as psychotic as the guy who calls himself Atheist Hunter, (I posted that I was an "Atheist with a gun" a few pages ago.) Then there are the moderates, who still value this country enough to agree with this court decision. Either way, the religious nuts are getting WAY OUTNUMBERED here, (and that makes me a happy and calm atheist.)

    December 11, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • lol??

      Poor widdle bully socie.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • lol??

      "....that makes me a happy and calm atheist....." Bubba is waiting for you in the Big House to make him happy. Better toe the line.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  16. Atheist Hunter

    "It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish."

    ~ Mother Teresa ~

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

      Mother Teresa knowingly accepted stolen money from Charles Keating and consorted with known dictators. Some great example you have there.

      December 11, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
  17. Jack

    No child should be put to the sword by it's mother! These children are defenseless in the womb. We must save them so they can grow up to be President too someday.

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

      LOL

      December 11, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  18. Atheist Hunter

    "Any country that accepts abortion, is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what it wants."

    ~ Mother Teresa ~

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

      Since I consider the Catholic church one of the main causes of overpopulation and resulting poverty in third world countries this is hardly going to convince me of anything.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • sam stone

      Considering we (the United States) spends more for weapons and war capability (by far), that is a very humorous statement A**H***

      December 11, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  19. lol??

    It isn't a judge when he hides in a dress.

    December 11, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  20. Atheist Hunter

    "...is it surprising that today we have become so morally blind (for wickedness blinds) that we save the baby whales at great cost, and murder millions of unborn children?"

    ~ Alice von Hildebrand

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

      Do you expect a bunch of random quotes to change anyone's opinion?

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

      Whales are endangered. Humans? Not so much. And certainly not more important.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
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