NARAL Pro-Choice America--in partnership with NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia--issued a nationwide activist alert calling on Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, who also serves as the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, to veto legislation that would funnel thousands of dollars to fake clinics that discourage women from choosing legal abortion.
By opposing this measure, Gov. Kaine will uphold the strong pro-choice platform the Democratic Party adopted last August and stop an anti-choice bill from becoming law in his state.
The bill in question is SB817, which authorizes the creation of special license plates bearing "Choose Life." A portion of the funds from the sale of these plates would be distributed to so-called anti-choice "crisis pregnancy centers" (CPCs) in Virginia.
Gov. Kaine has done the right thing before. He rejected federal "abstinence-only" funding, which sent a clear signal that he supports non-ideological, fact-based solutions to the problem of unintended pregnancies. If he were to sign SB817 into law, it would stand at odds with that decision, as many of these CPCs deliberately withhold from women accurate, comprehensive, and unbiased medical information.
For years, the anti-choice movement has tried to restrict, control, and manipulate the information doctors give women facing unplanned pregnancies. Unable to shut down legitimate public-health clinics, they are instead building a network of CPCs across the country.
Some people view these operations as harmless centers that offer women free pregnancy tests. Unfortunately, this is not exactly true. Most CPCs actually have an anti-choice agenda and use deceptive, intimidating, and emotionally manipulative tactics to block women from learning the facts about, or choosing, legal abortion. Some of these organizations even give women medically inaccurate information about abortion, claiming the procedure is dangerous and can cause breast cancer, infertility, and mental illness.
For a real-life example of the dangers of a CPC, watch this video (the CPC segment begins at 4:48):
We all agree that women are entitled to accurate, comprehensive, and unbiased medical information with which they can make their own decisions. The government should support legitimate reproductive-health centers that meet this standard of care. The government should not be in the business of supporting organizations that attempt to coerce women into making one decision over another.
During this time of economic crisis, when more and more of Virginia's women are losing health-care coverage, the Commonwealth of Virginia should focus its efforts on promoting legitimate, comprehensive health-care options instead of CPCs whose missions have nothing to do with health care and everything to do with a political agenda.
Make no mistake - these license plates have the potential to generate thousands of dollars in revenue for these organizations. Florida's DMV reports that, in that state, the "Choose Life" license plate generates over $65,000 a month for CPCs.
Gov. Kaine is expected to make his decision in the coming days, so please take action ASAP.