Tell the Governor, “Don’t Hold Choice Hostage!”
A final version of the Trust Women Respect Choice license plate bill has finally passed both the House and Senate, and it has avoided the Gilbert Amendment! This means that the plate, like every other special plate, is going forward as it was originally intended in the application—in this case, despite the anti choice representatives’ work against it, the proceeds still benefit to Planned Parenthood’s prevention work!
Despite this victory, the plates still have one more hurdle: the Governor. Governor McDonnell has until April 14th to sign the bill, amend the bill, or veto it, or he can just let it sit until after that time passes which will kill the plate.
If Governor McDonnell vetoes or amends the pro-choice license plate, there will be a well-founded lawsuit about viewpoint discrimination, something Virginia, in a time of budget crises, cannot afford.
A representative had this to say:
“Virginia has hundreds of specialty license plates that citizens can order. The governor believes they all should be treated the same by the state. He opposes state funding for abortion services. He will review the final legislation with these principles in mind.” (Source: http://hamptonroads.com/2010/03/specialty-plates-touting-right-abortion-advance-governor)
We’re not sure what to expect from the Governor, so speak up! Call, write, or email Governor McDonnell and tell him:
- That all license plates should be treated fairly;
- That the First Amendment requires that a state that passes an anti-choice plate cannot reject a pro-choice plate;
- That wasting time and money on a Viewpoint Discrimination lawsuit in a budget crisis is irresponsible;
- That 400+ people have prepaid for this plate with the expectation that their money will go to Planned Parenthood;
- That Planned Parenthood’s prevention fund has nothing to do with abortion!
It’s time to make our voices heard! There is no reason for Governor McDonnell to do anything except pass the plate without amending it. In fact, if he doesn’t, Virginia will be violating the First Amendment and will be sued, wasting state resources. The more than 400 people who purchased the plate deserve their chance to express themselves just as much as the antis do, and even people who didn’t buy a plate have a stake in holding the state accountable to the Constitution in order to protect the rights of all of our citizens!
Here’s the contact information for the Governor’s Office. Let us know how they respond!
P.O. Box 1475
Richmond, Virginia 23218
Office of the Governor
Patrick Henry Building, 3rd Floor
1111 East Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
Fax: (804) 371-6351
TTY/TDD (For the Hearing Impaired):
1-800-828-1120, or 711
You can email him through this web form.
Also, feel free to tweet him your support of the plate! @GovernorVA