Virginia OKs pro-choice license plates, but not without anti-choice efforts to divert funds from PP

After we were thrilled to announce the sale of Planned Parenthood of Virginia’s “Choose Choice” license plates, the state House decided that although the plate was introduced by the organization, none of the funds made from the plates’ sales should actually go to them. This is despite the fact that the funds from “Choose Life” license plates — already available in the state — currently support the anti-choice organization that introduced them, Heartbeat International.

The good news is that the Virginia Senate struck down the Senate version of the House amendment yesterday, and voted to allow the license plates with the money going to Planned Parenthood.

It’s standard for non-profit organizations to receive at least a portion of sales from state license plates that they create. Additionally, Planned Parenthood publicly stated that the funds from plate purchases would not be used for abortions, but apparently that wasn’t good enough for the Republican-controlled House. Their decision was amended for the funds to be redirected to Virginia Pregnant Women Support Fund, a program created by the state Board of Health for women with unintended pregnancies.

Thankfully we have the Senate on our side. The final decision of where the funds will go has to be made between the divided houses by the end of the season; you pro-choice Virginians out there can help them make the right one. Also pre-order one of their awesome plates here.

Via Spare Candy.

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5 Comments

  1. Icewyche
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    It gets better – the Virginia Pregnant Women Support Fund DOESN’T ACTUALLY EXIST, except on paper. And even if it did, the only thing it supports is women who decide to carry to term; part of its charter allocates funds for ultrasound equipment. It does nothing to help prevent unintended pregnancies, nor does it offer STD screenings or anything besides “parenting” education. Basically, it sounds an awful lot like a “pro-life” fund.
    PP bent over backwards to make sure it followed the rules TO THE LETTER in trying to get this plate made; this is just another example of Repugnicans trying to punish PP with this repulsive bait-and-switch. No other non-profit has had the legislature threaten to take the money it raised and give it to another group, so I hope this amendment gets shot down quickly.

  2. NewsCat_in_DC
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    I got my credit card bill yesterday and I actually saw the $35 charge for the Virginia “Trust Women” plate I ordered. I really wonder what is going to happen because, while I’m happy for the message I do no want my money going to that stupid Pregnant Women Support Fund which BUYS ULTRASOUNDS. I can’t help but wonder if those ultrasounds are just going to crisis pregnancy centers anyway. (So they get TWO plates with funding streams dedicated towards them).
    Meanwhile Planned Parenthood is going to try to have some rallies throughout the state on Monday about this issue.

  3. Jeanette
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    I don’t live in VA, but if I did, I would LOVE to get a set of these plates. However, as NewsCat_in_DC pointed out, this isn’t settled yet. I wouldn’t be comfortable pre-ordering unless and I knew for sure that the money wasn’t going to be diverted to some anti-choice group.

  4. paigeash
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 1:56 am | Permalink

    There will be statewide protests on Virginia college campuses on Monday, Feb 22nd, about this bill and all of the other anti-choice bills introduced to the Virginia General Assembly this session.
    The protest I’m organizing is on Hollins University, Front Quad at 1:30, we’re inviting the media! The legislature thinks it can sign away women’s rights because we’ll sit with our hands crossed and mouths shut like little ladies. FUCK THAT. We’re protesting loudly and letting them know we vote! If you live in VA, find a local protest! Contact myself at paige_ashley@cox.net or courtney.jones@ppfa.org to get in touch with a local rally!

  5. Gordon
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    As a Virginia resident, I wrote to Del. C. Todd Gilbert, whose amendment this was, and gave my reasons why he should support the Senate version instead. Appealing to his sense of fairness (which I admit he may not actually have), I reminded him that, when objections arose to giving money from the sale of “Choose Life” plates to Heartbeat International, someone correctly pointed out that no state monies are donated, and if Virginia residents don’t like Heartbeat International, they don’t have to buy the plate. Furthermore, the news media are reporting that, if the Gilbert amendment becomes law, it will be the first time in Virginia history that money from the sale of specialty plates did not go to the sponsoring organization, surely an undesirable precedent.
    Maybe I am hopelessly naive, but I think a few hundred more letters like that might sway his vote, especially if they remind him he can tell his conservative constituents that no tax dollars are going to the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood. Fellow pro-choice Virginians, are you there? DelTGilbert@house.virginia.gov

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