Friday, February 20, 2015

Its Time to Choose Choice in Florida

Florida has the distinction of offering its residents 122 different specialty or "vanity" license plates. Funds generated from these license plates support the efforts of all manner of organizations and causes from sea turtle conservation to the Special Olympics to saluting fire fighters.  A recent summary of data from the Florida government revealed that the University of Florida gator license plate was the most popular with 96,701 plates in 2013 followed by Florida State University with 64,270 and sea turtle conservation (which I have) that was chosen by 63,308 Floridians.

Ranking 13th on the list with 27,528 license plates is one called "Choose Life" which supports an anti-choice group called "Choose Life America." Among its various purposes is the denial of the constitutional right of a woman to make her own reproductive choice(s).  

I regularly see these license plates and this morning it occurred to me that there is no counterbalancing "Choose Choice" alternative license plate and I wondered why not..  Given that we live in an allegedly representative democracy where all points of view should have a voice it only stands to reason that a Choose Choice alternative be available.

This morning I emailed the following message to the American Civil Liberties of Florida encouraging either them or Planned Parenthood of Florida (or both?) to pursue a Choose Choice license plate to help fund their efforts to protect not only a woman's right to choose but also the Bill of Rights.  That email follows.  If anything happens from this I will post more here.  Cross your fingers.

Dear American Civil Liberties Union of Florida

As I drive around Florida I regularly see a specialty license plate that contains a yellow background with the face of a smiling kid on it and the words "Choose Life" sprawled across the front.  Funds generated from this license plate go to aid the efforts of an anti-choice group called "Choose Life America."  The license plate is apparently popular because I often see it so the organization must be taking in large sums of money to assist their efforts to deny women the right to choose what they do with their bodies.

Although this license plate is all over Florida highways there is no counter license plate that reads something like "Choose Choice" and its because of that I am writing you.  

Have you or Planned Parenthood considered petitioning the state legislature to approve a Choose Choice alternative to the Choose Life license plate?  We supposedly live in a representative government where all sides should be heard. Its sad that the side of choice isn't being heard.   Recently a Federal court ruled that North Carolina's "Choose Life" license plate was unconstitutional because there was no counterbalancing Choose Choice alternative.  Granted the story is from Fox News so its probably suspect but assuming its legitimate, a case could be made that Florida's Choose Life license plate is unconstitutional as well.

My vision for a Choose Choice license plate is one with an image of the United States Constitution on it and the simple words "Choose Choice" next to the constitution.  My guess is that ACLU Florida would generate huge sums of money from similar progressive thinking people who would want this plate.  I currently have a sea turtle conservation plate and would change it to Choose Choice in a heart beat.

If this is not something ACLU would be interested in could you perhaps suggest it to Planned Parenthood for the same reasons?  If you or Planned Parenthood are interested and need some help getting it off the ground I'd be more than happy to donate some of my time to making that happen. Thanks much for considering my suggestion.