On Tuesday, September 24, 2013, the Wisconsin Assembly’s Committee on Transportation will hold a public hearing where it will be discussing 2013 Assembly Bill 206, which seeks to allow the sale of special “Choose Life” license plates in Wisconsin. Similar license plates are already being sold in 29 states across the country. Two prominent anti-choice organizations and their legislative lackeys hope to make Wisconsin the 30th.
What you should know
If passed, Assembly Bill 206 will allow Wisconsin residents to purchase special license plates bearing the slogan “Choose Life.” In addition to paying a regular annual vehicle registration fee, residents wishing to purchase these plates will also each pay a $15 fee for issuance of the special plates and $25 annually to Choose Life Wisconsin.
Choose Life Wisconsin might sound new, but don’t be fooled. It’s an extension of anti-choice organizations Wisconsin Family Action and Pro-Life Wisconsin, which drafted the bylaws for Choose Life Wisconsin with the explicit purpose of bringing “Choose Life” license plates to our state. And the legislation that will make this possible is brought to you by some of the same anti-choice, anti-woman lawmakers who gave us 2013 Wisconsin Act 37 (the “ultrasound bill”) earlier this year, including Senator Mary “[A]bortion . . . was almost ‘the thing to do’” Lazich and Representative André “[T]here are places that offer free birth control. You see them on TV late at night” Jacque.
The money that is appropriated for Choose Life Wisconsin will, under the bill, be distributed to “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs) for “adoption purposes.” Unfortunately, CPCs in Wisconsin have a consistent record of providing inaccurate information to the women they purport to serve. Our friends at NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin Foundation conducted an investigation of CPCs in 2011 and 2012, and their findings, which you can read here, are appalling. They found that exactly 100% of the CPCs that were investigated provided false information to their clients. The unsubstantiated and medically inaccurate claims made by Wisconsin CPCs were found to include the following:
- Emergency contraception can be dangerous to a woman’s mental and physical health
- Abortion and birth control can increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer
- Abortion can adversely affect a woman’s ability to bear children in the future
Where we stand
Wisconsin NOW condemns this attempt to use our state government to promote the anti-choice, anti-woman agenda of groups like Wisconsin Family Action and Pro-Life Wisconsin. Wisconsin women deserve medically accurate information to support their decisions about their own health care. Manipulating and lying to women to serve the anti-choice agenda is utterly contemptible, and our state’s government has no business supporting CPCs in any capacity – most certainly not by acting as a conduit for funding to these deplorable centers.
What you can do
- Read Assembly Bill 206.
- Join us at the Wisconsin State Capitol on September 24 at noon in room 417 North (GAR Hall) for the public hearing. Register your opposition to AB 206 inside and join NOW members outside to continue making your voice heard. We’re planning an action and we need you to be there.
- Contact your legislators and urge them not to support AB 206.
- Talk with your friends and family about this bill. Remind them that Wisconsin women deserve medically accurate information and that by providing any assistance to so-called crisis pregnancy centers, our state will be endorsing the lies and manipulations that are served up to women who visit CPCs. Remind your friends and family members that by discouraging women from using contraceptives, CPCs can actually cause more unwanted pregnancies and thus more abortions than do groups providing medically accurate information about family planning.
Share this post and the results of NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin investigation into crisis pregnancy centers in Wisconsin: “CPCs Exposed: The Truth About Deception at Wisconsin Crisis Pregnancy Centers.”