VA anti-choicers misusing funds from “life” license plates

I’m just shocked that Heartbeat International – the organization that gets the majority of money made from Virginia’s “Choose Life” license plates – is possibly misusing funds. The anti-choice organizations gets $15 from the $25 plates, and distributes the money to crisis pregnancy centers. Or just random anti-choice buddies, it’s become kinda unclear.

One pregnancy center listed by several anti-abortion groups as a certified clinic — the Mattingly Test Center in Loudoun County — is a two-story brick house owned by Linda Mattingly, a former director at Care Net, a Leesburg-based pregnancy network. There are no signs in front indicating it is a clinic, the Internal Revenue Service has no record of it as a 503(c) nonprofit, and it is not registered as a corporation with the Virginia secretary of state.

A woman who answered the door of the Ashburn house last week said pregnancy services had been, but no longer were, provided there. She did not give her name before closing the door. The Washington Post tried to reach Mattingly by phone, but messages were not returned.

Kudos to NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, whose report, “Crisis Pregnancy Centers Revealed,” sparked the questions about funding. (The report also outlines the standard bullshit that crisis pregnancy centers peddle in: false medical information, non-medically trained staff, and scare tactics like telling women they could become a “crack whore in prison” if they get an abortion.)

Incidentally, if you’re in VA you can purchase a “Trust Women. Respect Choice” license plate.

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3 Comments

  1. brittanypixie
    Posted January 20, 2010 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    I’m not at all shocked by this, unfortunately. Which kind of makes me sad…
    Also, tomorrow (Thursday) is the last day to sign up for a “Trust Women” VA plate… if they don’t get more applications for them (it was 200 a couple days ago, not sure how many more at this point) they aren’t going to make them. Kinda wish I lived in VA and had a car.

  2. ElleStar
    Posted January 20, 2010 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    I have to say that I’d rather they give the money to people who are just going to blow it on whatever than to give it to Crisis Pregnancy Centers who will use it to continue lying and manipulating women.

  3. Icewyche
    Posted January 20, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    And even if they get the requisite 350 reorders, there’s no guarantee that the plates will be made…fulfilling the preorder requirement just means that the bill for the plates will then go to the General Assembly, who can veto them if it chooses. And given VA’s not-so-stellar record when it comes to supporting PP and pro-choice, I’d say there’s an excellent chance these plates would never see the light of day. (It’s worth noting that the original order deadline was Jan. 31, but it got moved up on Monday…coincidentally, right after our new conservative, anti-choice governor took office.)
    It makes me angry that over 1400 of the anti-choice plates have been sold, while the pro-choice plates are desperately scrambling to meet their quota. I would love to buy one, but I haven’t done so because a) I don’t have the money right now, and b) I’m afraid that displaying such a plate would make me and my car a target for vandalism, harassment, and worse. My area is very conservative – right near the Pat Robertson Evil Epicenter – and I’ve had my feminist bumper stickers defaced and complete strangers harass me for wearing a pentacle. I wonder how many other pro-choicers have had to reluctantly stay out of the license plate effort out of fear for their own safety.

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