From Virginia Planned Parenthood:
Yesterday, SB18, the omnibus package that includes the ‘Trust Women, Respect Choice’ license plate was passed by the full House. However, like the House version of the bill, the language in SB18 was changed to redirect revenue generated by the sale of the plates away from Planned Parenthood to the Virginia Pregnant Women Support Fund. Despite the public outcry and media attention, anti-choice Delegates refuse to grant Planned Parentood equal viewpoint.
So there you have it. The Virginia Delegate Assembly has not only dissed freedom of speech but it looks like they don’t think that women have enough sense to state where they want their money to go. Rewind to a few weeks ago. In An Issue of Fairness we illuminated the hypocrisy going on in the Delegate Assembly with HB 1108 which was about Pro-Choice license plates which read Trust Women/Respect Choice (see illustration).
UPDATE: The bill now goes to the Senate. Hopefully the Senate will amend this bill by returning the funds to Planned Parenthood. No victory laps yet, delegates.
The bill passed out of committee but in an unprecedented move, Del. Gilbert diverted the funds to some group called Virginia Pregnant Woman Support Fund. No one knows much of anything about this group and it certainly does nothing towards health screens for women or prevention of pregnancy. Regardless of what it does or does not do, Virginia women have the right to designate where their personal funds go. The license plate fees come out of the buyer’s pocket, not out of state funds. Further more, none of the personal funds go towards abortion services.
Yesterday, March 1, the omnibus package (SB 18) with the license plate changes went through the full General Assembly with Gilbert’s amendment in tact. I know that not everyone agrees on the subject of choice. However, I did think we all agreed on freedom of speech and fairness. If Pro-life groups are permitted plates with their choice of fund designee, then Pro-choice groups should have the same rights. Apparently the State of Virginia is not only trying to take away our right to choose. They are also trying to take away our right of free speech as well as who to give our private money to.
Some facts about Planned Parenthood in Virginia and the license plates:
- Planned Parenthood affiliates in Virginia serve over 30,000 underinsured and uninsured women, teens, and families every year. Without Planned Parenthood, these patients would often have to delay care or pay higher out-of-pocket expenses for routine reproductive health care.
- 93% of Planned Parenthood’s services are preventive: annual gynecological care, cancer screenings, low-cost birth control, and follow up care. Revenue generated from the sale of the license plates would allow Planned Parenthood to serve more patients in an economy where more and more people are losing health insurance.
- No funds generated from the sale of the plates will be used to provide abortion-related services.
Too bad things have worked out this way. I plan on making a donation to Planned Parenthood in the name of my state delegate. I will do the same thing if I find out my state senator had anything to do with depriving me of free speech. I don’t need a license plate to speak out.
This license plate issue isn’t about abortion. It is about the right to free speech and to think like you want. I have made my money legitimately and it is not for any of the anti-choice men who have gotten elected to make that determination for me. Take your license plates and shove them, Virginia.
Follow the deception Rule of law is only when it is in your favor, apparently, especially if you are with the Family Foundation (subtitle-lets skirt around the court ruling)
Hopefully, Planned Parenthood will print up bumper stickers looking similar to the license plate and sell them for the $15 which would have gone to the state plates. The state can just give up its other $10 it will lose. Then people can donate in the name of their state senator and delegate. I see a fun contest coming on…which delegate can earn the most money for Planned Parenthood. I would put my money on Marshall if I were a betting woman.