We ARE Getting There!
Update based on the Supreme Court's decision June 29, 2015
At the close of the 2010-11 legislative session HR 854 became law.
Yes, it is a law. However, the Choose Life license has not been available all this time because of a lawsuit brought by the ACLU which resulted in an injunction which prevents the state from producing the plates. The basis of the lawsuit is the perspective that there is" viewpoint discrimination" in that there is no corresponding Respect Reproductive Choice plate available in North Carolina.
All that changed with the Supreme Court decision. In a few months, when the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals reviews its decision as instructed by the Supreme Court, NC will be manufacturing the license plate we have waited for so long.
A Bit of History
Our thanks to the NC Family Policy Council for this article.
North Carolina “Choose Life” Plates Still Alive
Alysse ElHage | June 30, 2015
On June 29, the U.S. Supreme Court granted pro-lifers in North Carolina a major victory by vacating a lower court decision that has prevented the State from issuing “Choose Life” specialty license plates. The Supreme Court has ordered that the case of Berger v. ACLU of NC be reconsidered by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, based on high court’s ruling earlier this month involving a Texas license plate measure.
The battle over North Carolina’s “Choose Life” specialty license plates began with a lawsuit from the ACLU of NC in 2011, just months after the General Assembly passed legislation authorizing the sale of 70 additional license plates, including the pro-life plates. The ACLU argued that the absence of a license plate expressing a “pro-choice” position on abortion represented “viewpoint discrimination” by the State. In December 2012, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina agreed with the ACLU. A divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld that ruling in February 2014, barring the State from issuing pro-life specialty license plates unless it also allowed pro-abortion plates. In July 2014, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorneys representing Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R–Rockingham) and then-House Speaker Thom Tillis (R–Mecklenburg) filed a petition with the Supreme Court, asking it to review the Fourth Circuit’s decision. ADF and the legislative leaders intervened in the “Choose Life” plates case after Attorney General Roy Cooper (D) refused to appeal the Fourth Circuit’s decision to the Supreme Court.
The high court’s June 29 order vacates the Fourth Circuit’s February 2014 decision and sends the case back to the appeals court for “further consideration” based on the Supreme Court’s June 18 decision in Walker v. Texas Div., Sons of Confederate Soldiers. According to ADF, “in Walker, the Supreme Court held that Texas’s license plate program constituted government speech, and that Texas therefore could reject plates with messages that contradicted the state’s public policy.”
Waiting until the Fourth Circuit acts is difficult. Sometimes the courts move slowly because of a backlog. We so appreciate the support of those who have submitted applications and are waiting with us. At this point in time the applications are being held on file by Carolina Pregnancy Care Fellowship, the non-profit organization designated in the law as the entity designated to distribute funds raised by the plate to pregnancy resource centers.
What You Can Do Now
While funds from the Choose Life license plate will provide much needed funding to assist pregnancy centers across the state, every day they continue to reach women in their community with the message of LIFE.
Please consider becoming involved with your local pregnancy resource center as a friend who offers financial support and practical help to assist their vital mission.
The Carolina Pregnancy Care Fellowship, has the privilege of assisting them through equipping, encouraging, and networking efforts. And yes . . . our pregnancy centers definitely need the financial support that will come from the plate.
The Choose Life message on our roadways is so important . . . and so is our support of the 90 life-affirming pregnancy centers across the state. Funds generated from the license plate will help them to serve those struggling to decide.
Every day they are giving information and compassionate help to women so they can embrace the choice of LIFE.
Thank you for your support and participation!
How is the Choose Life plate money distributed?
EveEvery pregnancy resource center in North Carolina will have the opportunity to apply for funding. After centers have met the eligibility requirements, funds generated from the plates will be distributed equally among them.
Who makes those decisions?
According to the law, the Carolina Pregnancy Care Fellowship is the legally designated agency for disbursement of plate funds. The CPCF board of directors has established criteria for eligibility as well as a plan for the disbursement of funds when they become available.