Should some state license plates say 'California Trusts Women'?
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Proponents call it pro-choice. Opponents say it’s pro-abortion.
Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, is pushing a bill to create a special license plate bearing the words “California Trusts Women.” Senate Bill 309 directs proceeds from the optional plate, which would initially cost $50, to an existing state program that offers family planning services to low-income men and women. The program does not pay for abortions, but provides funding for providers including Planned Parenthood who offer pre-natal care, contraceptives, cancer screenings and other reproductive health services.
Jackson cast the bill, sponsored by the abortion rights advocacy group NARAL Pro-Choice California, as a response to the Trump administration’s cuts to Planned Parenthood and threats to “continue to erode critical federal funding for reproductive health care services.”
Defenders of the organization have long pointed out that federal dollars do not pay for abortions and Republicans in Washington are instead reducing access to cancer screenings, birth control, treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and other health care options.
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, the San Francisco Department of Public Health and more than two dozen other organizations support the bill, which is currently on the Senate Appropriations suspense file. Jackson’s office unveiled three potential designs this week, asking Californians to vote on their favorite.
“SB 309 will provide a way for Californians who are deeply troubled by the federal attack on women’s rights and health care to take their values ‘to the street’ while providing a vital funding mechanism for California’s network of reproductive health care providers,” Jackson said in a statement.
Anti-abortion activists don’t see it that way. They say it’s only fair to offer an anti-abortion plate, too.
In a statement condemning the proposal, a group that goes by SaveCalifornia.com said the license plate would generate money to “kill pre-born babies.”
The California Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the state’s Catholic community, and the California ProLife Council also oppose the bill.
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