Background

In recent years, a number of states have established specialty “Choose Life” license plates. The plates cost anywhere between $25 and $70 on top of standard fees. In some cases, money generated from their sale directly supports the activities of antichoice organizations or crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), which often provide biased and medically inaccurate counseling to women seeking a pregnancy test or counseling with regard to an unintended pregnancy. In other cases, the funding goes to organizations that provide services related to adoption. Many of the states with “Choose Life” license plates explicitly prohibit organizations that offer a full range of services, including abortion counseling or referral, from receiving the funds. Reproductive health activists have challenged some of these policies, arguing that it is unconstitutional for a state to endorse one political viewpoint over another, and that the funding of agencies affiliated with churches or religious organizations amounts to establishment of religion.

Highlights

'Choose Life' License Plates

STATE

FUNDS EXPLICITLY GO TO:

FUNDS CANNOT GO TO AGENCIES/ORGANIZATIONS THAT PROVIDE ABORTION COUNSELING OR REFERRAL

Antichoice Organizations/CPCs

Organizations Providing Adoption/Maternity Services

Alabama

X

X

 

Alaska

 

X

 

Arizona

X

 

 

Arkansas

 

X

X

Connecticut

 

X

 

Delaware

X

 

 

Florida

 

X

X

Georgia

 

X

 

Hawaii

X

 

X

Indiana

 

X

X

Iowa*

 

 

 

Kansas

 

 

 

Kentucky

X 

 

 

Louisiana

 

X

X

Maryland

X

 

X

Massachusetts

X

 

X

Mississippi

 X 

X

 

Missouri

X

X

 

Montana

X

 

 

Nebraska

 

X

 

New Jersey

X

X

 

North Carolina

 

North Dakota

X

 

 

Ohio

 

X

X

Oklahoma Ω

 

X

X

Pennsylvania

X

X

 

South Carolina

X

 

 

South Dakota

X

X

 

Tennessee

X

X

 

Texas

 

X

X

Utah

 

X

 

Virginia

X

 

 

Wisconsin

X

 

 

TOTAL

17

19

10

 

▼ Enforcement permanently enjoined by a court order; policy not in effect. 

*   Funds raised by the Iowa plates are used to support roads and road repair in Iowa.

†   A voluntary contribution can be made to CPCs in Kentucky when a person applies for or renews their 'Choose Life' plate, however, an applicant can obtain a 'Choose Life' license plate without making a contribution.

Ω   The state also approved a "Respect Life Support Adoption" license plate to provide assistance to families seeking to adopt children.

‡   Plates are expected to be available in 2019.