Pro-Life Page

Monday, June 8, 2015

 

  | LIVE ACTION NEWS

 

A survey released Sunday by the Associated Press (AP) shows that abortion rates are dropping nationwide: the overall decrease was roughly 12 percent. The survey shows in states with significant pro-life legislation, such as Indiana, Missouri, Ohio and Oklahoma, the drop is closer to 15 percent; however, pro-life states were not alone. The report notes that “more liberal states such as New York, Washington and Oregon also had declines of that magnitude, even as they maintained unrestricted access to abortion.”

 

AP conducted the survey by acquiring abortion data from all the states that had numbers available (California, Maryland, New Jersey, New Hampshire and Wyoming do not compile abortion data). Most of the information collected came from 2013 to 2014, which as AP writer David Crary notes, the numbers provide “a unique nationwide gauge of abortion trends during a wave of anti-abortion laws that gathered strength starting in 2011.”

The only increases reported were in Louisiana (12 percent increase), and Michigan (18.5 percent increase). Crary reports:

“[T]he increases were due in part to women coming from other states where new restrictions and clinic closures have sharply limited abortion access. Anti-abortion groups said many Ohio women were going to Michigan and many Texas women to Louisiana.”

 

However, some states have seen a great decline in abortions even without passing legislation. Thereport says, “Five of the six states with the biggest declines — Hawaii at 30 percent, New Mexico at 24 percent, Nevada and Rhode Island at 22 percent, Connecticut at 21 percent — have passed no recent laws to restrict abortion clinics or providers.”

While both sides of the abortion issue dispute why abortions are dropping, the fact is, they are. Less preborn babies are dying now in virtually every state.

 

Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life, said:

“There’s an entire generation of women who saw a sonogram as their first baby picture. There’s an increased awareness of the humanity of the baby before it is born.”

But the President of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, disagreed:

“Better access to birth control and sex education are the biggest factors in reducing unintended pregnancies. More restrictive abortion laws do not reduce the need for abortions.”

 

While the idea of “needing” an abortion is abhorrent to anyone who understands the humanity of the preborn baby, Richards’ view is also much too narrow, denying the power of the pro-life voice, as well as legislation nationwide. Just as Richards and her organization use rhetoric to sing a happy tune about abortion,  pro-lifers have risen to the call to show the reality of the preborn baby.

As Yoest notes, the sonogram changes everything. Even in states that have not passed more restrictive abortion laws, it is becoming harder for women to deny anything but the humanity of their preborn babies.

 

The political disputes in the battle are also notable. When Barack Obama was elected for his first term as President, many called himthe most pro-abortion president the nation has ever seen. In the mid-term elections in 2010, though, a mass of pro-life legislators came into office, and by 2011, pro-life laws began increasing.  This survey simply shows how the political climate has influenced the abortion issue: by doing the opposite of what Obama and those supporting him on the abortion issue had hoped would happen. Abortion is declining and the pro-life voice is rising.

It’s easy to look at numbers and statistics, but beyond that are the babies who are actually alive today. That’s the most vital reality on the other side of the percent sign.

Friday, June 5, 2015

by Liberty Pike | LifeNews.com | 6/4/15 6:18 PM

 

Women peacefully praying outside the Planned Parenthood on MLK Jr. Blvd in Portland, Oregon saw a new sign on the front door of the abortion business (one of the largest in the nation). The sign (pictured) reads

 

“Planned Parenthood is a safe space. We respect and honor all people regardless of race, ethnicity, gender expression, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, age, religion, body shape, size and ability.”

 

Planned Parenthood is far from a “safe space.” They are America’s largest provider of abortion. They provide one third of all abortions performed in the United States, at the rate of one abortion every 96 seconds. In fact, while the women were there praying, five women left the back door of the business after apparently having abortions. They spoke with one woman who was taking a preschooler to lunch while “his mom has an abortion.” The child’s mother had a one-night stand and, upon discovering she was pregnant, went to Planned Parenthood to have her child violently torn from her womb.

 

Planned Parenthood can say whatever they want about being a safe space. But there is a disclaimer they don’t print on that sign: “However, a person is exempt if they are still inside their mother’s womb, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender expression, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, age, religion, body shape, size and ability.” Not only are babies in the womb not safe in Planned Parenthood, but they are marked for death. One’s humanity, in Planned Parenthood’s eyes, is all about where one is located.

Not only are innocent children unsafe in Planned Parenthood, but women are as well. At a Houston Planned Parenthood, four women were injured in botched abortions in just 30 days (1/31/15-2/26/15). This year alone, Operation Rescue has documented 14 abortion-related medical emergencies in Planned Parenthood facilities in 8 states.

If women and babies are not safe inside Planned Parenthood, who is? Men? A cursory look through Silent No More’s many testimonies from fathers of aborted children demonstrates otherwise.

 

Since neither children, women, nor men are safe inside Planned Parenthood, another sign should go up in the doors and windows of their businesses around the nation:

“Planned Parenthood is an unsafe space. We are a threat to all people regardless of race, ethnicity, gender expression, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, age, religion, body shape, size and ability.”

Thursday, June 4, 2015

KATIE MCCANN   JUN 3, 2015   |   12:27PM    COLUMBUS, OH| Life News.com

 

Yesterday, the House Committee on Community and Family Advancement heard opposition testimony on our Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act  which protects pre-born babies from the discriminatory violence of abortion.

 

As expected, NARAL and the ACLU came out in full pro-discrimination form to oppose our legislation, once again proving themselves as out of touch and irrelevant as the day is long. For organizations that would claim to defend the interests of minority and disadvantaged communities, their opposition testimonies smacked of hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy, as they shared that they would support sex-selective and eugenic abortions on babies with disabilities.

 

A century ago, Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, began her eugenic crusade to “exterminate” the spawning “human weeds” of society–to include the poor, the disabled, and African Americans. Turns out some things don’t change.

Conveniently, NARAL and Planned Parenthood were busy Tweeting their non-answers to the seemingly simple questions being asked by our pro-life representatives in committee. When asked about their position on eugenics by pro-life Representative Niraj Antani, NARAL spokesperson replied that they support “choice.”

 

 

 

Following this sideshow of a testimony, we have just one question for Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and the ACLU: What other kinds of discrimination do you support? Turns out–all of it:

 

We’ve known for decades that abortion advocates take a much stronger position than the kind of mushy laissez-faire pro-choice-lite version that they try to sell to broaden their tent. But they truly are pro-abortion, permitting any abortion whatsoever up and through birth.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

REBECCA DOWNS   JUN 2, 2015   |   1:12PM    AUSTIN, TX| LIVENEWS

 

(LiveActionNews) — After a month of negotiating the state’s two-year budget, the Texas Legislature’s new proposal cuts Planned Parenthood from its Breast and Cervical Cancer Services program.

 

The decision by the Lone Star State would axe funding for over a dozen Planned Parenthood facilities that don’t provide abortions on-site. Planned Parenthood received $1.2 million in taxpayer dollars under the program last year. A finalized budget will be decided on before June 1.

Alex Garcia-Ditta, writing for Texas Observer, gives background on the new budget proposal:

In January, key budget writers state Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) and state Sen. Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) acknowledged that they want to keep state money away from health care providers that also perform abortions.

 

The state sent a similar message in 2011 when abortion providers were cut off from state funding. Although the Obama administration threatened to cut off Medicaid funding for the state’s women’s health program, then-governor Rick Perry still committed his state to run and fully fund the program.

Unfortunately, Texan values, and, more importantly, the truth, are lost on Planned Parenthood— from its CEO to its supporters.

In favor of funding legitimate providers, as long as Planned Parenthood continues to provide abortions, that’s reason enough to bar it from the program.

 

While it is technically true that federal dollars are not supposed to go towards abortion, the amount of tax dollars Planned Parenthood receives, and an increase in abortion services, makes it clear where our tax dollars are going. While taxpayer funds cannot (legally) be used for abortion, such funds allow the organization to use monies for the procedure more easily.

Not only did Planned Parenthood increase abortion services, it has decreased “Cancer Screening and Prevention Services.” This information comes straight from Planned Parenthood’s 2012-13 and2013-14 annual reports.

 

From an objective level, wouldn’t it make sense for such productivity levels to send that program to the bottom of the list, or off of it completely? It’s not just about saving money then, but sending a message that Texans do not want their money going towards abortion providers.

Many of us are familiar with the pink signs reading ,”Don’t take away my breast exams.” A “breast exam” at Planned Parenthood, however, is hardly any better than what you can do yourself at home. The pro-life movement has exposed the lies from Planned Parenthood CEO and President Cecile Richards, and others, who have claimed that the organization provides mammograms.

 

If Planned Parenthood really wants to be granted state funding, it should drop abortion, as this former affiliate did.

Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion business, and it very much operates on an abortion-centric model. Let’s see Planned Parenthood for what it really is: a abortion business and not a champion for health care

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

by Rebecca Kiessling | LifeNews.com | 6/1/15 12:14 PM

 

A new federal law, the Rape Survivor Child Custody Act, will protect women who are victims of rape and decide to keep their baby. Shauna Prewitt, an attorney who co-founded Hope After Rape Conception, first spearheaded the idea along with rape survivor Analyn Megison

 
 

Rebecca Kiessling, who has been working to protect mothers across the country who decide against having an abortion after they were victimized, has helped pushed the legislation on a state level. Kiessling tells LifeNews that the new law “provides an incentive to states to pass legislation providing for a means to terminate the parental rights of rapists, using the “clear and convincing evidence” standard from the U.S Supreme Court case of Santosky v Kramer.”

 

She profiled the case of Analyn Megison (pictured above), who rejected abortion after rape. Them her rapist sought custody.

“My custody case in Florida against my rapist started in 2010 and went on for a little over two years.  Though I had a restraining order and had pursued prosecution, he was not convicted of rape,” Megison has said. “At the time he sued for custody, I did not know how many states had no or limited legal protection at that time from a rapist biological father when the child was conceived from his attack. Those states which had laws required a rape conviction. For me, all that counted at the time was that Florida had no legal protection at all for this.  I recall the judge asking if there was any law to prohibit this — even a federal law –and me replying:  ‘Not yet, but I am working on it.'”

 

Megison sprung into action and Florida approved a law that became the basis for the federal legislation.

“In Analyn’s home state of Florida, she got the legislature to pass this legislation unanimously, which is how Congresswoman Wasserman-Schultz heard of our model legislation.  Several states are currently working to pass this law, including Michigan and Maryland, while some states’ legislation, like Pennsylvania, are insufficient because those bills require a rape conviction,” Kiessling said.

 

Other states are expected to approve their own laws.

“Another board member, Angi Grogg, has been working on getting our model legislation passed in many states, ever since her family endured a court battle fighting her 14 year old daughter’s rapist for custody,” Kiessling said. “Several members of Save The 1 who were conceived in rape suffered molestation by their rapist fathers because they were not protected by law, including Darlene Pawlik and Rowena Slusser.  Other women from our organization, such as Robyn McLean and Darlene Pawlik’s mom, were repeatedly raped as their rapist used contact with the child to continue raping her.”

 

Kiessling is urging pro-life advocates to get involved in the battle to protect mothers from rapists who seek custody of their children after the rape and abortion rejection.

“We encourage every pro-life organization to get behind this legislation,  as Right to Life of Michigan is currently championing this bill.  Not only is it pro-life in effect — because pregnant rape victims will be more likely to choose life if they know they’ll be protected from the rapist, but you’ll be able to demonstrate that you really care about these women and their children, and you’ll also have the advantage of seeing rape survivor mothers testifying before the legislature,” she explained.

 
 

 

She said “the testimonies of these rape survivors and the love they have for their children” is “very powerful.”

“Only a couple of states have this clear and convincing evidence standard, and many states still have nothing at all.  With this new law from Congress, it’s the perfect time to begin working with your state legislators to properly protect rape survivor mothers and their children,” she concluded.

Monday, June 1, 2015

by Steven Ertelt | LifeNews.com | 5/29/15 9:42 AM

 

A new Gallup poll finds a majority of Americans oppose all or most abortions even though some Americans who technically take a pro-life position opposing abortion wrongly think they are “pro-choice” on abortion.

 

The Gallup survey found that half of Americans identify themselves as “pro-choice” on abortion, surpassing the 44% who identify as “pro-life.” Gallup says “This is the first time since 2008 that the pro-choice position has had a statistically significant lead in Americans’ abortion views.”

“For most of the past five years, Americans have been fairly evenly divided in their association with the two abortion labels. The only exception between 2010 and 2014 was in May 2012, when the pro-life position led by 50% to 41%,” the polling firm notes. “Prior to 2009, the pro-choice side almost always predominated, including in the mid-1990s by a substantial margin. While support for the pro-choice position has yet to return to the 53% to 56% level seen at the time, the trend has been moving in that direction since the 2012 reading.”

 

But do those labels on abortion actually mean Americans are pro-abortion? It turns out the answer is no, as Gallup confirms a majority of Americans oppose all or almost all abortions. When asked when abortion should be legal, 55 percent of Americans oppose all abortions or say abortion should only be legal in a “few circumstances,” typically defined as cases such as rape, incest or if the life of the mother is in danger. Since those cases constitute, at most, 1-2 percent of all abortion cases, Gallup’s numbers confirm 55 percent of Americans oppose 98 percent or more of the 1.1 million abortions that take place annually in the United States.

The poll makes it clear that even 27 percent of those who call themselves “pro-choice” actually take a pro-life position wanting all abortions illegal or abortion legal in only the very rarest cases. Just 9 percent of people who support unlimited abortion wrongly call themselves pro-life.

 

 

Today’s poll is consistent with other Gallup surveys, such as its 2013 poll showing 58% of Americans opposed all or most abortions.

Other polling data confirms that, even when a majority of Americans call themselves “pro-choice” on abortion, they strongly support limits on abortions.

 

 

The Knights of Columbus poll found that 47 percent of Americans identify as “pro-life,” which is consistent with the results of recent surveys conducted by Gallup and other opinion research groups. But the poll also found that substantial majorities think that 1) the abortion rate is too high; 2) abortion is morally wrong; and 3) abortion does more harm than good. And when asked about specifics, 59 percent of all respondents said abortion should be allowed only in cases of rape or incest, in cases where it’s necessary to save the life of the mother, or never at all,” political scientist Michael New notes.

 

A January poll, also by Gallup, confirms Americans don’t support the current policy of unlimited abortions for any reason up to birth in most states. The poll shows that, dating back to 2001, the fewest number of Americans are satisfied with America’s abortion laws which, currently, allow for virtually unlimited abortions in most states.

“In 2015, 34% of Americans say they are satisfied with current U.S. abortion policies. This is the lowest percentage since Gallup first asked the question in 2001,” Gallup noted.

 

A 2014 CNN poll also confirmed that a majority of Americans want all or most all abortions made illegal.

According to the CNN survey, 20% say abortion should always be illegal and 38% say most abortions should be illegal — making it so 58 percent of Americans oppose all or virtually all abortions. Just 27% of Americans side with Planned Parenthood and President Barack Obama in saying abortions should always be legal. Another 13 percent say abortion should be legal in most cases, making it so only 40 percent of Americans generally favor legalized abortion in most instances.

 

As CNN notes, “Most Americans have never favored using public funds for abortions for women who cannot afford them. According to the survey, 56% remain opposed, with only 39% favoring public funding for abortions.”

A 2011 CNN national poll of Americans showed 62% of Americans want all or most abortions made illegal.  In April 2009, CNN showed Americans wanted to prohibit most or all abortions by a 64-34 percentage point margin. The margin was 63-36% in November 2008, 61%-37% in June 2008, 62-36% in October 2007, and 64-34 percent in September 2006.

Friday, May 29, 2015

 

4:08 PM, MAY 28, 2015| LIVE ACTION NEWS | 

 

After a month of negotiating the state’s two-year budget, the Texas Legislature’s new proposal cuts Planned Parenthood from itsBreast and Cervical Cancer Services program.

 

The decision by the Lone Star State would axe funding for over a dozen Planned Parenthood facilities that don’t provide abortions on-site. Planned Parenthood received $1.2 million in taxpayer dollars under the program last year. A finalized budget will be decided on before June 1.

Alex Garcia-Ditta, writing for Texas Observer, gives background on the new budget proposal:

In January, key budget writers state Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) and state Sen. Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) acknowledged that they want to keep state money away from health care providers that also perform abortions.

 

The state sent a similar message in 2011 when abortion providers were cut off from state funding. Although the Obama administration threatened to cut off Medicaid funding for the state’s women’s health program, then-governor Rick Perry still committed his state to run and fully fund the program.

Unfortunately, Texan values, and, more importantly, the truth, are lost on Planned Parenthood— from its CEO to its supporters.

In favor of funding legitimate providers, as long as Planned Parenthood continues to provide abortions, that’s reason enough to bar it from the program.

 

While it is technically true that federal dollars are not supposed to go towards abortion, the amount of tax dollars Planned Parenthood receives, and an increase in abortion services, makes it clear where our tax dollars are going. While taxpayer funds cannot (legally) be used for abortion, such funds allow the organization to use monies for the procedure more easily.

Not only did Planned Parenthood increase abortion services, it has decreased “Cancer Screening and Prevention Services.” This information comes straight from Planned Parenthood’s 2012-13and 2013-14 annual reports.

From an objective level, wouldn’t it make sense for such productivity levels to send that program to the bottom of the list, or off of it completely? It’s not just about saving money then, but sending a message that Texans do not want their money going towards abortion providers.

 

Many of us are familiar with the pink signs reading ,”Don’t take away my breast exams.” A “breast exam” at Planned Parenthood, however, is hardly any better than what you can do yourself at home. The pro-life movement has exposed the lies from Planned Parenthood CEO and President Cecile Richards, and others, who have claimed that the organization provides mammograms.

If Planned Parenthood really wants to be granted state funding, it should drop abortion, as this former affiliate did.

Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion business, and it very much operates on an abortion-centric model. Let’s see Planned Parenthood for what it really is: a abortion business and not a champion for health care.

Thursday, May 28, 2015
May 27, 2015|3:40 pm| The Christian Post|

 

West Virginia's recently passed law prohibiting abortions after 20 weeks save for the health of the mother has officially taken effect.

 

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, or House Bill 2568, was overwhelmingly passed by both houses of the state legislature and then passed via the overriding of a governor's veto.

West Virginians for Life, the Morgantown-based state affiliate of the National Right to Life, lobbied for the passage of the bill.

WVFL Program Director Mary Anne Buchanan told The Christian Post that she was "extremely proud of our legislators" for passing the bill and overriding the veto.

 

"It is thrilling to see the unborn baby being put into the abortion debate by making an issue of their pain. Pain is something that we can all relate to," said Buchanan.

"In a nationwide poll of 1,623 registered voters in November 2014, The Quinnipiac University Poll found that 60% would support a law such as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act prohibiting abortion after 20 weeks, while only 33% opposed such legislation."

In late February, the West Virginia Legislature passed HB 2568. In early March, West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed the bill over reportedly constitutional concerns.

 

"Tomblin's veto message reflected the same concerns he sent out in a veto response to a similar bill that passed the Legislature in 2014," reported WOWK TV.

"Despite Tomblin's veto, this year, the GOP-led Legislature had the numbers to override any piece of legislation sent back within a reasonable time. The WV House voted to override the veto by a vote of 77-16; the Senate's vote was 27-5."

Buchanan of WVFL told CP that she did not believe there would be a viable legal challenge to the new law as it takes effect this week.

"This bill has not been challenged in the courts in nine of the 11 states where it has become law," said Buchanan.

 

"Therefore, West Virginians for Life has reason to believe that it won't be. If it should be, we believe the bill will pass the test."

West Virginia's new law taking effect comes as many states consider increased regulation of abortion clinics and restrictions on when the abortion procedure can be performed.

Earlier this month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a similar piece of legislation after previously delaying a vote due to concerns over sufficient exemptions.

 

Mailee Smith, staff counsel with Americans United for Life, told CP via email that they were "encouraged by West Virginia's actions."

"Not only do such laws affirm the value of the unborn child, but they are also necessary for protecting the health of the mother," said Smith.

"It is undisputed that risk from abortion to the mother increases exponentially with increasing gestational age. It is also undisputed that the risk of harm to the mother is highest at/after 20 weeks."

 

Smith also told CP that there appeared to be "growing interest in these bills", as during this year "at least 11 states" were "considering measures limiting abortion at 5 months."

"Significantly, abortion proponents have challenged only 3 of these laws. One federal Circuit Court of Appeals — the notoriously pro-abortion Ninth Circuit — has invalidated Arizona's 5 month limitation," continued Smith.

"Another case out of Idaho remains pending before that same Circuit. The third case is pending in Georgia state court. The rest of the laws are in effect, protecting both women and their unborn children, and should encourage other states outside of the Ninth Circuit to do the same."

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

 

2:13 PM, MAY 24, 2015| |  LIVEACTION NEWS| 

 

They call it “hope in the heart of hell.” Seneca Choices for Life in Columbus, GA, is a pregnancy resource center (PRC) not even a year old, but its quest is to move in next door to the Columbus Women’s Health Organization. Only 10 feet would separate death and life, and Seneca says that’s really the choice.

Responding to current pressures to be “neutral” in its approach as a PRC serving pregnant women, the center is not backing down: “Seneca believes it is time that a pregnancy resource center boldly presents itself to the community as a pro-life option that wants to rid the community of the intolerance of abortion.”

 

Ten feet away from Seneca’s proposed new location is an active abortion facility owned by Diane Derzis, an infamous abortionist, who said God wants her to provide abortion.

Derzis, most notable for running the now-closed All Women New Woman abortion facility in Birmingham, AL, and the last remaining abortion clinic in Mississippi, has a thriving business in Columbus, GA. And Seneca Choices for Life is ready to challenge that.

 

The strategy to counter abortion, the center notes, is to be as boldly pro-life as the abortion clinics are pro-abortion:

“How can we expect to foster a pro-life culture if we hide our beliefs in the shadows? Abortion clinics have flourished by boldly and unapologetically declaring their stance. As a result clinics like Planned Parenthood have become a mainstream part of our culture; being invited into our government’s budget, school systems and communities. Pro-life options have been bullied into a corner where their life affirming options are patronized under a label of intolerance.”

 

Seneca is raising funds to move in next door to the abortion clinic, offering women a chance to choose life: “Women are not going to stroll into our clinic because we are vague about the services we offer; the women who are going to walk into Seneca are those women who are desperately searching for a light in the mist of darkness; searching for love in the mist of intolerance.”

 

The fact is, a woman in crisis wants answers. Abortion clinics make a promise that the “problem” can go away. But Seneca says it can, too. With support for the woman and baby—for up to two years after birth—Seneca promises a woman a solution, not a problem.

“Hope in the heart of hell” is what Seneca Choices for Life is offering, and the women who will walk 10 feet across the way and find hope and healing will agree.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

by Steven Ertelt | LifeNews.com | 5/25/15 10:20 AM

 

A federal appeals court has issued a ruling banning Choose Life license plates in New York state and claimed in its decision that pro-life views are “patently offensive.” The court issued ruling in The Children First Foundation v. Fiala,  which rejects a pro-adoption group’s application to sponsor a “Choose Life” specialty plate with the New York Department of Motor Vehicles.

 

 

The appeals court ruling overturned a lower court decision upholding the right of drivers in New York to purchase the pro-life plates.

 

As the Daily Caller reports:

A new decision by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals holds that New York’s state government has the right to ban “Choose Life” license plates on the grounds that such a statement is “patently offensive.”

The dispute stems from a now-suspended program offered by New York’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) which allowed private organizations to create custom license plates. If drivers purchased the plates, the purchasing price was split between the DMV and the non-profit.

The Children First Foundation (CFF), an organization promoting adoption as an alternative to abortion, submitted a design for a “Choose Life” license plate, which featured a drawing of two children’s faces in front of a yellow sun.

 

The proposed plate was rejected, with the DMV citing a policy that allows it to ban “patently offensive” plates in order to prevent incidents of road rage. The “patently offensive” category in U.S. speech is typically related to public obscenity laws, and allows for limitations on things like the public display of pornography or other materials that blatantly violate community standards.

Judge Rosemary Pooler, a Clinton appointee, agreed with New York’s position in her majority opinion. She took this view even though she also ruled that license plates are private speech subject to First Amendment protections. Despite these protections, however, she said that so many New Yorkers could find a plate advocating an anti-abortion position “patently offensive” that the DMV was justified in suppressing the speech.

In a strong dissent, Judge Debra Ann Livingston said the court was essentially granting the New York DMV the right to suppress any viewpoints it did not like.

 

Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco decried the decision.

“Pro-adoption organizations should have the same speech rights as any other organization. While the district court affirmed this basic freedom, the circuit court denied free speech in favor of government censorship. The state doesn’t have the authority to target The Children First Foundation specialty plates for censorship based on its life-affirming viewpoint. The state has wrongly gotten away with speech discrimination against our client for more than 10 years. We will review our legal options.

 

The battle to allow motorists to purchase Choose Life license plates has been going on in the Empire State for years.

Alliance Defense Fund attorneys filed the lawsuit on behalf of The Children First Foundation in 2004 against state officials who denied its attempt to allow motorists to purchase Choose Life license plates. The New York Department of Motor Vehicles rejected CFF’s design in August 2002 — considering it “too political and controversial” to approve. The organization redesigned the plate, adding the group’s web site to it to better explain its purpose, and the DMV rejected it again.

 

The state dismissed the attempt to create the plate and said it was rejected in order “to avoid any appearance of governmental support for either side in the divisive national abortion debate.”

Saying its free speech rights were denied, Children First filed suit with assistance from Alliance Defense Fund attorneys and, in January 2005, a federal judge ruled it had sufficiently argued its First Amendment rights would be violated.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed then-Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s second attempt to ban the plates and allowed the lawsuit to move forward. The DMV eventually suspended review of specialty plates — a move that Elizabeth Rex, president of the Children First Foundation, says was done specifically to block the Choose Life plate.

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