Anti-choice license plates in MA

Massachusetts, the state where I grew up and that many people assume is a lefty paradise, will be offering motorists anti-choice license plates. The plates, which read “Choose Life” and will direct funds to crisis pregnancy centers, are available in over twenty other states already. Compare that to four states with pro-choice plates.
Crisis pregnancy centers are in the business of keeping women from accessing abortion, and regularly give out false and misleading information to achieve that goal. And now we’ve got one more state that will be directing license plate funds to these ideologically motivated fake clinics.
Apparently God’s a supporter of the plates according to Merry Nordeen, who led the campaign to get them approved, though that didn’t help expedite the process in a state with no legislative hurdle for new license plates:

“I prayed really hard for this — I prayed for seven years, and God didn’t disappoint me,” she said in a phone interview.

So your God’s a big fan of deception then? Isn’t lying supposed to be a sin?
There are currently no plans to introduce pro-choice license plates that would fund real and unbiased reproductive health clinics in MA. Um, why not?

Boston, MA

Jos Truitt is Executive Director of Development at Feministing. She joined the team in July 2009, became an Editor in August 2011, and Executive Director in September 2013. She writes about a range of topics including transgender issues, abortion access, and media representation. Jos first got involved with organizing when she led a walk out against the Iraq war at her high school, the Boston Arts Academy. She was introduced to the reproductive justice movement while at Hampshire College, where she organized the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program’s annual reproductive justice conference. She has worked on the National Abortion Federation’s hotline, was a Field Organizer at Choice USA, and has volunteered as a Pro-Choice Clinic Escort. Jos has written for publications including The Guardian, Bilerico, RH Reality Check, Metro Weekly, and the Columbia Journalism Review. She has spoken and trained at numerous national conferences and college campuses about trans issues, reproductive justice, blogging, feminism, and grassroots organizing. Jos completed her MFA in Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute in Spring 2013. In her "spare time" she likes to bake and work on projects about mermaids.

Jos Truitt is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Development.

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Join the Conversation

  • Comrade Kevin

    Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

  • smerdmann

    The *one* thing I like about this initiative is that the plates at least say “CHOOSE life.” On some level they acknowledge that it is a choice, implying that there’s more than one option to choose from. Sure, they hope everyone will choose the way they would, but that’s their problem. The ones that infuriate me are those bumper stickers that say, “It’s not a choice, it’s a child.” Gag.

  • BuddhaBaby

    Okay, crisis pregnancy centers are bullshit – I agree. And the people behind these license plates may have a strict anti-choice agenda.
    But, I’m not sure that “Choose Life” CHOOSE Life is an anti-choice message. You can be pro-choice and still believe not having an abortion is the better option. Maybe most people would automatically assume this to be an anti-choice message but I wouldn’t.

  • Surfin3rdWave

    When I was pregnant, I went a crisis pregnancy center because I didn’t want an abortion but couldn’t afford the baby. The center advertised to potential donors that they offered car seats, breast pumps, information about WIC, infant swings, baby clothes and maternity wear to underprivileged women.
    They had NONE of those things and couldn’t offer me any financial help so I could carry the pregnancy to term. Instead, they gave me a bunch of print-outs about how almost all low-income pregnant women also have STDs, and about how I needed to marry the “baby’s” father– my partner of 4 years– asap.
    The kicker? Last time I was getting my car’s license plate renewed, I saw that ALL of the funds in my county from “choose life” license plates are going to that center.
    I would support “choose life” license plates if the money from them actually went to helping women who don’t want abortions. I don’t know where the funds are going, but in my county, it’s definitely not going where it’s supposed to be.

  • Surfin3rdWave

    I agree. CHOOSE life means you have a choice, so I don’t find the slogan itself offensive. It’s the misappropriation of funds to mis-inform women that bothers me.
    The phrase actually comes from a Bible verse in Deuteronomy-
    “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.”
    I’m atheist, but I find the verse itself poetically beautiful. It isn’t about abortion, it’s about choosing life– choosing to love life, to help others, to avoid violence, etc. It actually sort of irks me that it’s been co-opted by anti-abortion activists.

  • liv79

    “I prayed really hard for this,”
    The conflation of coincidence with divine intervention always makes me giggle a little bit.

  • thecynicalromantic

    Does anyone from any of the states that do have pro-choice license plate options have any information about possibly getting that initiative started in MA?