The case for the pro-life plate

I wonder if the prison inmates who make license plates find it ironic when they make those ones that say “Choose Life.” You know the ones; everyone has seen them on numerous cars all over the roads. Of course, I don’t personally know how many people have been on their way to the abortion clinic, cursing the bad traffic, when they notice one of these license plates and decide to turn around and keep the baby. But even if the pro-life license plate has not had quite that much of an affect, it enables the driver of the car to make a strong and often times socially unpopular statement.

That statement begs the question: Does the state have the right to put it on a license plate? Well, I believe that they do, and here’s why. The license plates are not paid for with tax dollars, but are funded by the actual sales of the plates. Therefore, if I don’t buy one, I don’t contribute to their production. So why shouldn’t people who have strong moral standards be able to broadcast them as they see fit?

I have heard many people comment that they find the “Choose Life” plates offensive. After all, the state doesn’t make a “Woman has the right to choose” plate, so why should those pro-lifers get all the advantage? But the facts remain, if someone wants to privately fund the production of a good, they should have the right to do that, even if it endorses personal beliefs that may be offensive to some. Look at the license plates begging us to save the manatees. Although most people would not find anything wrong with personally endorsing such a humanitarian issue, I am sure that there are a number of drunk fishermen sitting in their boats who feel very angry about it right now.

My personal feelings about abortion aside, I think that these license plates are a good thing. In an age of such crippling political correctness, when it seems safest to pretend that you don’t believe in anything, I like to see people who have the courage to lay themselves on the line and take responsibility for their beliefs. This country was started so that everyone would be able to believe in what they want and tell the world about it if they want to. And anyone who doesn’t care to listen is free to ignore them.

So kudos to the “Choose Life” plate. After all, what better way is there to fight abortion than with a license plate right next to the “Real men love Jesus” bumper sticker?

Travis Atria is a sophomore majoring in English literature.

March 5, 2002


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