Our Michigan legislature is getting ready to take up a bill that would require the Secretary of State’s office to offer “Choose Life” bumper stickers, the proceeds of which would be funneled to “crisis pregnancy centers” and pro-life groups.
Among the legislation scheduled for review Tuesday by the Michigan Senate Transportation Committee isSenate Bill No. 600, which would require the Secretary of State to develop a plate whose proceeds would support the Right to Life of Michigan Fund in the state treasury.
According to Right to Life of Michigan: “Funds generated by the sale of ‘Choose Life’ plates in Michigan will be distributed to pregnancy resource centers and other prolife entities providing assistance to pregnant girls and women.”About half the U.S. has “Right to Life” specialty plates, but their roll-out has been contentious. Groups in several states have mounted legal challenges on First Amendment grounds, some successfully, some not. The Supreme Court has let stand state rulings barring production of the plates.
Given the massive Republican control of both houses of our legislature, this is almost certain to pass. But in addition to legal challenge, I think another means of attacking these things is to submit legislation to do the same thing for pro-choice groups, or secular groups. That opens up the possibility of challenging such plates on open forum grounds and, in the end, could either scuttle the plan to aid one side or help fund the good guys too.