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Arizona’s ‘Choose Life’ plates clear hurdle

WASHINGTON (BP)–The U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed the right of Arizona pro-life advocates to use their vehicle license plates to support unborn children.

The High Court granted the victory to abortion opponents when it denied a request to review a lower court decision upholding “Choose Life” license tags for Arizona. Litigation over the issue spanned six years.

The high court’s Oct. 6 action left standing a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals opinion that reversed a judge’s ruling against the specialty plates. In January, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit unanimously ruled that the Arizona License Plate Commission’s 2002 rejection of the pro-life plates violated the Arizona Life Coalition’s free-speech rights.

“Life-affirming expression is constitutionally protected just like any other speech,” Peter Gentala, attorney for the pro-life coalition, told Focus on the Family CitizenLink.

Arizona will be the 18th state to issue “Choose Life” license plates, according to the Guttmacher Institute. In some states, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of such plates goes to crisis pregnancy centers, adoption agencies or pro-life organizations, the institute reported. Guttmacher’s statistics on abortion in the United States are widely considered reliable, even though it was formerly an affiliate of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the country’s leading abortion provider.
Compiled by Baptist Press Washington bureau chief Tom Strode.

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