After a year-long effort of getting specialty “pro-life” license plate from the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the anti-abortion group named called the “Children First Foundation Inc.” has lost their battle, following a federal appeals court ruling.
The state allows nonprofit organizations in applying for specialty plates as their way of raising funds. Although the plates come with corresponding fees, the organization and DMV will split the proceeds.
Meanwhile, the license plate in question involves a cartoon drawing of little kids, along with the “choose life” slogan. It was basically designed for the benefit of the Children First, promoting adoption as an alternative to abortion. The group filed the case in 2004, following the denial of the DMV commissioner’s ruling.
According to DMV, abortion was a contentious political issue, hence, having a license plate such as that might result in conflicts or contribute road rage. The issuance of the license plate could also appear that the state is taking sides over the debate, the officials argued.
For many years, the organization attempted on negotiating with the department over the plate design, reducing the slogan’s print size, while highlighting the adoption-support aspect. The main concern was cosmetic, although the group did not revise the “anti-abortion” message. The organization has also claimed that it has raised minuscule revenues ranging between $30,000 and $40,000 in the last years, most of them have been disbursed as grants to nonprofit individuals and pro-life agencies that promote adoption over abortion.
Meanwhile, the most recent ruling significantly endorses the department’s earlier position, saying that the issue of abortion is just too hot topic for the state to be tangled up in. Reasonable minds, however, differ the weighing and comparison of the controversial nature of abortion, but it does not also conclude DMV’s unreasonable action.
The court ruling has pointed out several aspects in its decision. On the other hand, specialty plates are honored in other states, ranging from whales to guns.
As a whole, the issue on specialty license plates has emerged to be pretty hot as the upper courts are now preparing to set rules on similar cases. For one is an alleged unreasonable move of a group in one state as the DMV in that area has denied the group’s attempt of getting specialty plates that honor the organization referred to as the “Sons of Confederate Veterans”.
Likewise, the design of the plate has been questioned as it features a Confederate flag. The DMV argued that the state cannot be perceived as endorsing such divisive symbol, which is very closely related with racist views.
The effect of the ruling in the “anti-abortion” specialty plate will be held until after the high court’s ruling in the second state’s case, which is to be expected late summer.
According to the anti-abortion group, they will remain solid in their battle over abortion, promoting adoption as a reasonable alternative and a “pro-life” move. Immediately after the ruling, they gathered to discuss the following steps, surrounding their other projects.