ACLU Sues NC Over Anti-Abortion License Plates
The ACLU filed a lawsuit against the state of North Carolina today opposing production of a new specialty license plate with an anti-abortion message. Each time a North Carolina driver opts for a new specialty license plate that says "Choose Life," $15 of the fee goes to nonprofit agencies that counsel women against having an abortion. Susan Holliday would like a license plate that says "Choose Choice" and funnels money to Planned Parenthood. In the last legislation session, state lawmakers rejected multiple amendments that would have created that license plate - approving only the anti-abortion version. So now Holliday and four other drivers are suing. "You might as well tell me to get to the back of the bus, because I don't have a right to have this license plate, and that's the whole argument," says Holliday, a nurse midwife at Duke Medical Center. "My right is being taken away." North Carolina ACLU legal director Katherine Lewis Parker says the state is essentially promoting only one side of the abortion debate by offering a "Choose Life" license plate. She says that's a violation of the First Amendment and maintains the ACLU would be suing on behalf of abortion opponents if the situation were reversed. The ACLU wants the court to block North Carolina from starting production of any "Choose Life" license plates until the lawsuit is decided.