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Responses to Common Arguments


1.        The Choose Life specialty plate isn’t fair, because pro-abortion organizations do not have their own plates. 

         Any organization is free to go through the same legislative process and apply for its own specialty plate. 

         Which organization would admit it is opposed to adoption?  What would an opposition plate say? 

         On December 2, 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Louisiana abortion supporters who argued that the state was giving a forum only to pro-life views.  

         Thus far, no opposition group in any other state has applied for a plate of its own.  Instead, they have tried to piggyback some sort of pro-choice plate onto the Choose Life legislation.  This has always rightly been struck down, the legislature recognizing that opposing organizations cannot automatically get their plates just because the Choose Life plate has been approved, without going through proper administrative and legislative procedures. 

2.        “Choose Life” is a political statement 

         Several currently approved specialty plates in Illinois could be construed as making a political statement: The Environmental plate (pro-environmentalism), the Pet Friendly plate (pro-animal rights activism), the Union plate (pro-union labor; pro Democrat), to name some. 

         The Choose Life plate is multi-racial, reflecting that the majority of children up for adoption are from African-American racial backgrounds. 

3.        The distribution of Choose Life specialty plate proceeds is not fair 

         Again, any pro-choice organization is free to apply for its own specialty plate, designating that any non-taxpayer proceeds go to pro-abortion organizations. 

         Planned Parenthood receives millions of taxpayer dollars to promote its message.  It seems more than fair that the opposition be allowed to receive non-taxpayer donations to promote its pro-adoption position. 

         Do not opposers agree that adoption is a better option than abortion?   Isn’t adoption a woman’s choice, too? 

4.        Choose Life specialty plates violate the separation between church and state. 

         The AG’s office in Louisiana determined that the legislature may use license plates to encourage pregnant women to consider adoption and other alternatives to abortion, saying, “The state, acting through… its democratic process, has the right to speak this message.” 

5.        Why not use a bumper sticker to raise funds for this cause? 

         The specialty license plate creates a revenue stream to the sponsoring organizations, as each time the plate is renewed, the fee is added to the plate and goes to the cause. 

         The State of Illinois currently uses proceeds from several specialty plates to fund state parks, pet overpopulation, education, and the Illinois and Michigan Canal, to name some.  It is disingenuous to disallow the same non-taxed opportunity to the Illinois citizenry.

         The State of Illinois currently allows proceeds from several other specialty plates to go to private funding.  It is disingenuous to disallow the same opportunity to Choose Life supporters. 

6.        Law enforcement agencies are complaining about the proliferation of specialty license plates. 

         Specialty plates in Illinois have been in existence since 1932, when the Illinois General Assembly ushered in the concept by designing plates for its own members. 

         There are currently 63 specialty plates on the road in Illinois, with seven more having been approved.  Forty thousand Environmental plates have been sold. 

         One of the specialty plates currently being sold in Illinois is the Police Memorial specialty plate.  This plate has a green and yellow flower on it, along with a police insignia.  

         This appears to be a complaint that has arisen only since the Choose Life specialty plate came on the scene.  The Choose Life committee supports the Illinois General Assembly setting a minimum number of orders before specialty plates will be cut.   We support expiring less popular plates.  We support the General Assembly requiring an escrow account of sponsoring specialty plate organizations until a minimum amount of money is received by the State.


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