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Don Roach: RI’s ‘Choose Life’ License Plate A Win For Tolerance

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


I’m going to stick with the theme of tolerance and how many of those on the left who espouse the word “tolerance”, don’t actually exhibit it in practice. Happily, the majority of our General Assembly members don’t fall into this category – not in this column anyway – as last week the General Assembly passed a bill that will allow people to buy license plates with the Choose Life logo on it. The same people who passed gay marriage earlier this year also passed a bill that offers a way for another minority group – pro-lifers – to express themselves in ways in which other organizations can, via license plate sponsorship. When I heard this last week, I was impressed.

But alas, many of our so-called civic leaders are not sharing in the excitement over a win for tolerance.

The left doesn’t want to give you a choice

First, what does the Choose Life logo represent? It’s a pro-life positioned logo encouraging people to choose life over abortion. As with the gay marriage debate, the abortion debate is a powder keg issue that elicits passions on both sides of the aisle. Still, there are 29 other states, other than Rhode Island that have similar license plates available. Rhode Island now joins her neighbors in Massachusetts and Connecticut in approving a Choose Life license plate. I wouldn’t say either state is the bastion of conservatism, would you?

And yet, there are a number of voices within the state who decry these plates. According to RI Future’s Steve Ahlquist:

This entire bill is about lies foisted upon Rhode islanders by a small clique of anti-abortion theocrats who would do anything to take away a woman’s right to choose. The Governor is right to be concerned and so should the rest of us. Ask Governor Chafee to veto this bill.

Steve is trying to make this a religious question instead of an abortion question. It’s typical from the left when they can’t articulate an argument against an action without looking completely hypocritical.

29 other states have similar laws on the books and have done so over the last 13 years and yet Ahlquist believes that this is the what will be the death knell to the ability to have an abortion? Come on, man. He tries to direct his attack against CareNet, the recipient of the proceeds that will come from this specialty plate. CareNet is an organization that:

exists to serve women and men facing unplanned pregnancies.  All of our services are confidential and free of charge. We offer lab quality pregnancy testing, access to limited ultrasound, options counseling, parenting support and programs for men and women who have had abortions in their past.

Let’s not have any allusions that this group will certainly promote choosing life and I won’t insinuate that the people who are a part of CareNet are most likely Christians who are also pro-life. But CareNet is a non-profit organization who, in order to receive funding from any governmental source must adhere to specific guidelines. I have not heard anything about this organization running afoul of those guidelines. The service being provided here is not religious counseling, but choices that men and women can make during an unwanted pregnancy. That CareNet includes the man in this decision, I posit is probably an affront to folks like Ahlquist, but not everyone believes that the choice solely rests with a woman.

Further, groups like Planned Parenthood have also fought against these Choose Life license plates. The Southern New England Chapter of Planned Parenthood had this to say about this law passing:

Through the passing of this bill, funds will be raised by the sale of special-design charity license plates for CareNet Pregnancy Center of RI, an organization which does not provide women with accurate information about all of her pregnancy options.

Similar salvos are often thrown at Planned Parenthood for advocating if not coercing women into having abortions. It’s par for the political course – you always try to attack your enemy at the extremes.

The Christians are coming! The Christians are coming!!

But if it’s about tolerance, then we need to remove Ahlquist’s “the Christians are coming, the Christians are coming!” and conservatives “Planned Parenthood kills babies!” rhetoric and look at what these organizations are actually providing. Do we say McDonald’s is a horrible place because they don’t offer many menu items under 300 calories? No.

If Planned Parenthood is all about choice, then they must respect the choice of other organizations to tailor their information differently than the way Planned Parenthood currently does.

I can’t say enough, choice, choice, choice. It’s all about choice and people should have the right to choose to get the new license plate or not. 

You know what’s worse about the hypocrisy of Planned Parenthood in all of this? In the state of Virginia you can buy “Trust Women-Respect Choice” plates. Where does the donation of $25 go to if you purchase this license plate? Nowhere else than the Virginia League of Planned Parenthood. So while SNE Planned Parenthood decries a group receiving a license plate here that provides reproductive services, a different Planned Parenthood group has their own specialty plate in Virginia!

I’ll say it again, come on, man! And you thought tolerance was about respecting people’s choices. Ha! Tolerance for liberals is agreeing with their choices and calling every other choice they wouldn’t make some [insert random unconstitutional rant].

Spell it with me now…H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-S-Y.

Don Roach can be reached at [email protected].


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