For the past few months, the Assembly has been wrestling with establishing a license plate to balance the "Choose Life" plate approved last year. In the course of the sausage making, funding from sales of the plates was originally directed to go to Planned Parenthood, and then in the Assembly a Delegate reoriented the funding to go to a previously moribund state "Pregnant Women Support Fund" which had never been funded since it was established. In effect, taking the money and sending it nowhere. The Senate's legislative language retained the funding for Planned Parenthood, however, and the Senate wording was what came out of the conference committee and was sent to the Governor.
Conferees recommended retaining the Senate language, and the recommendation was adopted by the Senate on a 22-15 vote and by the House on a 64-30 vote.It's a great thing to see this legislation successfully move through the Assembly. I personally support Planned Parenthood and all they do, and am glad for a way to express that support.
The plate is a counterweight to the “Choose Life” license plate approved by the General Assembly last year.
“Since the commonwealth had provided a forum for one side of the choice debate last year, we felt it was duty-bound to give equal treatment to the pro-choice position,” Brink said.
“Planned Parenthood is a vital part of the health-care safety net for women across Virginia - securing this license plate on their behalf is more than a symbolic victory,” Brink said. - The Sun Gazette (For a laugh, check out their tagline at the top)
The interesting question is whether Bob McDonnell will sign the bill, which is part of the overall package of legislation that has passed the Assembly this past week. It is pretty clear that Virginia must pass some kind of pro-choice license plate bill, as per court decisions on the matter of issue-plate in the past. I sincerely hope he signs it, and we can get our plates in the coming year.
Incidentally, did you hear that the pill may decrease women's risk of death, and freely available contraception reduces abortions? There's a funny thing about fighting for gender equality in services and society, when we succeed, our overall health as a community improves.