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"Choose Life" License Plate Advocates Lose Claim

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An Illinois group pushing for a “choose life” license plate lost its free-speech claim in a ruling made by the Supreme Court, according to David Savage of the Los Angeles Times.

On October 5 of this year, the court turned down a free-speech claim from Choose Life Illinois Inc. under a ruling the court let stand. Choose Life is a group that opposes abortion and supports adoption.

The group had gathered more than 25,000 signatures from individuals who were advocating for a “Choose Life” license plate. The state of Illinois had refused to issue the specialty plate.

The fact is that officials of the state did not want to take a position on the issue of abortion, according to Savage. You could also say that having a “Choose Life” license plate could mean anything. It is such a wide and rather ambivalent phrase that can be applied to numerous situations, but for the past several years it has been taken over by anti abortion groups to the point that it has practically become their domain.

The Illinois group did not advocate for a license plate that said “No Abortion” or something to that effect. They chose, as such groups have been doing for years, the gentler “choose life” phrase. Like the Illinois officials, we have all come to learn what that means in today’s times.

So when the Illinois officials refused to issue the plates, lawyers for Choose Life argued that their refusal amounted to discrimination against their “choose life” message. In 2008 the federal appeals court in Chicago upheld the state’s decision and ruled that the state “was free to steer clear of the abortion controversy entirely”, according to David Savage, who by the way thought that this decision by the Supreme Court was a “setback.” He made the statement, “Despite today’s setback in the high court, 24 states offer “Choose Life” license plates, and efforts are underway to gain approval in 14 more states.” I could be mistaken but it kind of sounds like he’s rooting for those 14 states. Savage may view the decision as a “setback”, but others, including myself, do believe that the Supreme Court made a wise decision.

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