"Choose Life" License Plate Funds Jacked From Counties in Favor of Anti-Abortion Group

Categories: News
florida-choose-life.jpg
Choose to give your money to make an extremely uncomfortable advertising campaign.
Only in Florida -- where the government prefers to privatize anti-abortion license plates.

Florida's "Choose Life" license plates, created by Ocala-based Choose Life Inc., started popping up on bumpers since the legislation was signed into effect by then-Gov. Jeb Bush.

Since the plate's inception, the funds from purchases of the plate have been distributed to counties across the state based on that county's number of "Choose Life" plates.

Now, the funds go straight to Choose Life Inc., thanks to House Bill 501 signed by Gov. Rick Scott yesterday.

Under the old law, counties would distribute the license-plate funds to nongovernmental and non-for-profit agencies explicitly for counseling and assisting pregnant women who planned to give up their children for adoption.

Choose Life Inc. now gets to take in the cash from the plates, and the changes to the law allow them to spend their new dough on anti-abortion advertising, courtesy of the state.

They also get to pocket a maximum of 15 percent of the money for "administration," as well as specific promotion for the license plate.

Some of the old rules still apply: No spending money on abortion-related activities, including getting counseling at an abortion clinic; no pro-abortion advertising; and of course, no abortions.

In case you're wondering how much money was spent in the state on adoption counseling and assistance using the "Choose Life" license plate funds last year, it was about $450,000.

That sounds great, except for the fact that there's still another $300,000 in unused revenue from the license plates sitting in the state's DMV office, according to My Fox Orlando.

Now Choose Life Inc. has the power to blow the cash on anti-abortion advertising, with the ability to scrape a little off the top for "administration."

Starting October 1, any and all "Choose Life" license plate funds held by counties or the state must be transferred to Choose Life Inc.

Read the entire text of the bill signed by Gov. Scott here.


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Education Realist
Education Realist

The problem with this license plate fund-raiser is that it has literally painted itself into a corner. Here's a portion of an archived article from 2007 that explains why these funds are not, and will not, be used to promote carrying babies to term:

‘Choose Life’ license plate funds sit unusedThe News-Press, December 26, 2007

"But much of the money Lee receives is sitting unused, because, some administrators say, criteria for spending it is too narrow.

"Women can’t receive help from the program if they plan to parent their children. It was established strictly for women who plan to give up their babies for adoption and need financial help during pregnancy."

“We don’t have enough women who want to place” children for adoption, said Becky Towner, the coordinator of Project Gabriel, a pregnancy counseling program at St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church in Fort Myers. The county contracts with Project Gabriel to administer the Choose Life money.

"Towner said many women won’t decide until late in the pregnancy whether they want to adopt or parent.

"Then, about 35 percent of mothers who intend to release their baby for adoption, change their minds once the baby is born, Towner said."

***The point is this: When you arbitrarily release money only to those willing to surrender to adoption, you guarantee that the greatest number of women with problem pregnancies will abort if help isn't available. The decision needs to be made: is the purpose of this fund-raiser really to save the lives of fetuses or provide babies for would-be adoptive parents? If it's the former, then the parameters need to be changed - like yesterday!

Russ Amerling
Russ Amerling

Wow, is there a little bias in this article. The article doesn't tell the whole truth. The funds have been redirected to Choose Life, Inc. the originator of the Choose Life plate in Florida to expedite the distribution of the funds that were being delayed by the various counties all trying to re-invent a process for distributing the funds in their counties. The new bill says Choose Life, Inc. will distribute 85% of the funds raised within each county to the qualified agencies (i.e. Crisis Pregnancy Centers, Maternity Homes and adoption agencie) within the county. The remaining 15% will be used to cover the expenses of distributing the funds to these agencies and maintain all the accounting and reporting required by the state. These costs were previously being covered by each county. Therefore the bill will save money for counties in the state. The 15% can also be used to promote the sale of the Choose Life plate in Florida. Under the old law, the Choose Life plate was one of the few plates that were not allowed to use any of the funds generated by their plate to promote the plate sales. As a result, the Choose Life plate sales decreased substantionally compared with the plates that were allowed to advertise theri plates with some of the funds. This bill will allow our organization to compet fairly with other specialty plates and establish a singe application, reporting and accounting process, which will result in the funds being distributed more equitably and timely than the old bill, as well as saving the state money.Russ AmerlingFlorida Publicity CoordinatorChoose Life license plates

Gefilte_Fish
Gefilte_Fish

The hypocrites at it again. Fighting for the fetus, Then they fight to not help the child when they are born. I mean, these are the same people that cut Education, medicaid and other poor entitlements. Then they are blaming the poor mother for having kids they cannot afford.

The GOP motto."Let fight to have them born, then we starve and ill educate them later."  

Wow. America, the most hypocritical country in world.

Dr_augusta
Dr_augusta

to SMDr:You define your own morality. So what is "right" is what you determine it to be? Morality has little to do with religious adherence actually- there are basic human behaviors that society ( and I do not mean just American or Western society posits) dictates. But that's okay- one of these days you may eveolve yet.

twas
twas

Unless you have been part of the decision to abort a child you really have no idea what you are talking about. I have and all I can say is that the karma debt load is very heavy.

dr_augusta
dr_augusta

That is exactly part of the reason that my feelings on this are so strong. Anyone who has ever journeyed wih someone who has been a part of this process knows that they are never the same afterwards. An abortion leaves scars; that aren't always physical.

dr_augusta
dr_augusta

To: SMDrPepper

You studied philosophy- good for you! However, your biology still lacks. Every zygote that  a pregnant human woman carries in her uterus is a human-regardless of what it "looks " like. It has 23 pairs of chromosomes. It is conceived  by the actions of a human man and woman. It does  indeed, initialy look like a mass or clump of cells- it has not yet developed it's arm buds or other distinguishing human features. But that doesn't make it any less human. It is not like that embryo is going to develop into an alligator or a falcon.Look what people do in their bedroom or with whom, I could careless about. And what a person does with their body is  indeed their business. But a human embryo is just that, human.   We as a society have determined that the taking of a human life is murder.  If you can not accept that, as I said, it is  because you cannot break out of the lower moral level functioning that you are trapped in.Google Kohlberg and do both of us a favor and do some reading.

SMDrPepper
SMDrPepper

Morality is always subjective.  So get off your "moral high horse".  Much like one persons terrorist is anothers freedom fighter.Im sorry you do not understand basic biological principles, but it is nothing but a ball of cells.  It is not human in the slightest, no matter what chromosome pairings it may have.  And there is a thought that if you knew what receptors to turn on or off, you could in theory create another animal out of that ball of cells.  Especially since everything has 23 pairs of chromosomes.  Its just a matter of which is active or not.  And at that stage, the only thing they are doing is dividing.  They are stem cells, able to make damn near anything.BUT since you wish to be "moral" how about what happens after the zygote develops into a fetus and is born?  All pro lifers forget that then that baby has to be raised.  Yet they insist on not caring for that baby.Look, things happen.  Babies are conceived, whether wanted or not.  Abstinance does NOT work and thanks to decades of that backward thinking, too many people do not understand or even use condoms.  The fact remains that if you abolish abortion, as you so obviously want, then there will be too many mouths to feed.  Your crime rates go up, welfare goes through the roof, and I will not even get into the education system.  The fact is that abortion is an alternative that needs to remain.  It is not murder.  Listen to Spock on that.  The good of the many outweigh the need of the few.  If you dont like it, dont get one.  But you need to go to hell if you think your morality should supersede the choice of anyone else.  Go preach your faulty logic to your own and let the rest of the world deal with itself.Or for another quote, yet ye with no sin cast the first stone.

Chaz Stevens, Genius
Chaz Stevens, Genius

Versus say basing morality on a fictional make believe deity or a guy who supposedly lived 2,000 years ago and could walk on water and make snakes talk.

At least Spock had the Vulcan Mind Meld.   God can't even get the Dolphins to the Super Bowl.

Chaz Stevens, Genius
Chaz Stevens, Genius

Dr Pepper;

Having once worked for NASA, I was certainly not in the minority by admitting my love of space and science came from in part growing up as a Trekian.

Some of the brightest minds on our planet profess their admiration for Star Trek -- a list that includes Kip Thorne, Miccio Kaku, and Stephen Hawking.

So let's think about it.   Who has done more for adding value to our existence?   The guys that gave us the Hubble Space Telescope or Jerry Falwell?

SMDrPepper
SMDrPepper

Well played Chaz, well played.Gotta say that I base my morality on what is right by me.  None of those religious entanglements for me thank you very much.  I do right by those who need it an do my best not to worry about what someone else is doing.  Seems to work pretty damned well for me so far.Course, once again, the religious types out there can only say your wrong about whatever, but never can seem to provide the how and the why.Plus, like bow ties, Spock is cool.

dr_augusta
dr_augusta

And  the fact  that Spock, a fictional character from a movie, dictates your morality is so disturnbingly sad.

dr_augusta
dr_augusta

Model Ciizen.Yup I agree. It is a weak mind who would model their morality on a fictional movie character!

SMDrPepper
SMDrPepper

It would appear that I have struck a nerve.  When one must resort to name calling, then he has lost the debate.Spock, while perhaps a fictional character, is quoting something that has been said millions of times across human history, pulling from Sun Tzu to even your bible and other religious texts.  Plus it is very logical.  I use those words to boil the argument down, something that has apparently been lost on you.  Must have been too subtle.As for my ignorance, perhaps you should look more at yourself before judging others.

dr_augusta
dr_augusta

Thanks ...your ignornace just spoke volumes.

dr_augusta
dr_augusta

SMDrPepper: Your argument bolied nothing down except to show the immaturity of your moral development. While morality may indeed be subjective, what is moral is not.  Give up. You are out of your league on this one.

Wordsmithy
Wordsmithy

The last stats I saw indicated that, since Roe v. Wade was handed down, approximately 50 million abortions have been performed in the United States. If we overturn Roe, where are all these unwanted Americans going to live? How many tons of carbon monoxide are their cars going to emit? How many schools and prisons will we have to build? How many children will THEY then have? If you think America is crowded now, folks, just imagine. No thanks!

dr_augusta
dr_augusta

Wordsmithy I absolutely agree with the concern of overpopulation.  I do believe there is a maximum number of people this planet can support- regardless of what country you live in.I would prefer birth control and responsible sexual activity to PREVENT pregancy,over the killing of children. Perhaps the so-called religious right would disagree with me,but the emotional and physical trauma  as well as thedamage to society's psyche would be far less.

Wordsmithy
Wordsmithy

The religious right is too mentally ill about sexuality to support your position. These are the people who insist on abstinence-only birth control education here and abroad.

dr_augusta
dr_augusta

Actually Wordsmithy, it is not just the religous right  that has issues with sexuality. Most Americans do.

Chaz Stevens, Genius
Chaz Stevens, Genius

Hey the Bible says it's okay to kill children.

From there Elisha went up to Bethel.  While he was on his way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him.  "Go up baldhead," they shouted, "go up baldhead!"  The prophet turned and saw them, and he cursed them in the name of the Lord.  Then two shebears came out of the woods and tore forty two of the children to pieces.  (2 Kings 2:23-24 NAB)

Wordsmithy
Wordsmithy

Justice Blackmun's Roe opinion devoted two paragraphs to the alleged rights of a fetus. None, it says. The issue was not raised by the Wade defendants, Blackmun wrote, and the Supreme Court had never issued any sort of precedent about it. Thus, legally, a fetus is a nonhuman. It may be some form of "life," like protoplasm, but it is not a human being. No removing it from the womb cannot possibly be murder, especially in the first trimester.

dr_augusta
dr_augusta

There is a differnce between what is a "legal" definition and  what is a"moral" one. But you have just demonstrated that you are hopelessly locked in Kolberg's  Stage 4 level of Moral Reasoning, what he calls "conventional" and thus I  understand your challenge to even grasp the abstract moral reasoning that i challenge you to. You can't. It is simply beyond you.

Chaz Stevens, Genius
Chaz Stevens, Genius

Can you please crawl back under the rock from where you sprung forth?   Please.  And take the other marginally thoughtful folks with you.

Seriously.  Go work on your marriage and leave us all alone.

You creep us the fuck out and I am sick and tired of buying Purell by the case.

dr_augusta
dr_augusta

The abortion issue really is not a matter for the  so-called  religious right nor does it involve the concept or person of God at all. It's a humanity thing. Do we , as a society, condone the murdering of the most defenseless among us or not? And if you do not call it murder- what do you call it when you take a life?

SMDrPepper
SMDrPepper

In that case every time you crush a bug, take antibiotics, or disinfect, you are then murdering.

dr_augusta
dr_augusta

When you graduate from moral  kindergarten, then we can have a conversation, perhaps.

SMDrPepper
SMDrPepper

Wow, a polite way of name calling. Actually I have quite a lot of understanding, helps that I actually studied philosophy for a few years.  Still it boils down to the fact that you do not understand basic biology.  At conception, and up until the second trimester, the "fetus" (which is the wrong terminology for it since it is actually a zygote, or even embryo) is almost indistinguishable from a cancerous growth.  Nothing more than a mass of cells.  I know the right wingers out there would like to think that as soon as the egg is fertilized its already a human, but thats not the case.  Even at the end of the first trimester it more closely resembles a fish than a human.  The fact is its not human yet, ergo not murder.  Besides who are you to say what someone can or cant do with their own body?  This issue, just like gay marriage, is nothing more than a red herring to get those "moral" people a reason to poke into someone else life to tell them how to live.  To get them all worked up to not pay attention what the other hand is doing.  And these are the same people who want smaller government and less intrusion.

dr_augusta
dr_augusta

Your comments evidence an exceptionally minimal understanding of abstract reasoning.

dr_augusta
dr_augusta

Not a doctor. That's just a pseudonym....

SMDrPepper
SMDrPepper

Moral kindergarten?  How about learning some basic biology.  And you call yourself a doctor..tsk tsk.

Wordsmithy
Wordsmithy

Anyone who has ever read Roe v. Wade knows for a certainty that Harry Blackmun and the majority had virtually no choice but to rule as they did. Griswold v. Connecticut had established a married couple's right to privacy in the area of birth control, and Justice Brandeis had been writing of a basic right to privacy since before the 1920s. Unfortunately for the fetus worshippers, the plaintiffs in Roe grounded their case on the privacy issue, not any alleged rights of the fetus. The law is the law; it's the American way. America, love it or leave it, religious fanatics.

Model Citizen
Model Citizen

There's been a recent (manufactured) uproar among the Fox News crowd about the completely irrational and unfounded fear of "Sharia Law" taking over America.  What Christians fail to understand is that their attempts to codify morality are just as offensive to secular Americans as the Muslim influence on the law and culture that they fear themselves.

Chaz Stevens, Genius
Chaz Stevens, Genius

Personally, I find God offensive.   He does after all allow the raping of little boys in his house of worship.

SMDrPepper
SMDrPepper

Seems more than a little criminal to me. 

Patti Lynn
Patti Lynn

There is NO provision in the bill prohibiting tax payer funds from going to religious organizations.  Weird plate...they believe that you should "Choose" life, but don't believe that you should have any other CHOICE!!!

FSLPA
FSLPA

 These are not 'tax payer funds'.  They are VOLUNTARY contributions made to non profit organizations by Floridians who support a cause, in this case one of 117 causes.  Anyone can choose to sponsor a plate, say for instance to assist women who choose to 'plan' or abort, if they want to shell out $60,000 and meet all the other mandates, including getting house and senate sponsorship.  The problem being, is it politically correct? There is currently a lawsuit pending against the state of Florida by the Confederate license plate sponsors because they could not get a legislator to agree to sponsor their plate.

But know that the funds collected by specialty plate organizations, while very closely regulated by the legislature, raise over $3,000,000 for the state DMV in processing fees alone. The have contributed over $450,000,000 to our state budget over the past 10 years. They do many good things for our state that would otherwise have to be funded by your tax dollars.  The legislature should be thrilled that private organizations care about things like our environment, education, economic development, children's programs, our troops and veterans, agricultural issues, etc. Everyone should consider buying a special plate for their car to show their support for the causes that are important to them and help the economy and quality of life in of our state. No pun intended.

dr_augusta
dr_augusta

Oh you do Patti Lynn, it's called MURDER.

Paula Bryder
Paula Bryder

Really? Do call 911 to report a "MURDER" then. Better yet, borrow a dictionary or have someone explain to you that murder is illegal killing. Abortion is not. Why can't any of you PLM understand your native language?

th3realtruth
th3realtruth

Where in the US criminal code is abortion described as "murder"?  Name me one person who has gone to jail for this "murder"?

I hate to break it to you, but just because you believe your imaginary friend (I think you call it God) and his money sucking drones (I think you call them Churches), tells you something is murder doesn't mean I have to participate in your delusion.  Additionally, your delusional beliefs shouldn't be forced upon someone else.  If you believe in the slightest bit in the Constitution of the US, then you will recognize that you as an individual do not have to get an abortion if you do not CHOOSE to, but the choice should never be taken away by the government.     

It's called freedom.  And if you don't like it, maybe you should move.

dr_augusta
dr_augusta

Never said it was or should be mandated by the government. It's called a conscience and a moral code.

Wordsmithy
Wordsmithy

I'm assuming it's just a matter of time until "Governor" Scott turns over the University of Florida and FSU to private corporations that will level the buildings and turn the campuses into sod farms.

Stefan Kamph
Stefan Kamph

These license plates always confused me, with the "choose" thing. Seems to be skirting controversy. Shouldn't they read, "be forced to harbor life?"

dr_augusta
dr_augusta

Or we can play it your way and say "Murder them all".

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