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One of the favored ways in which the relentless and well-funded anti-choice machine is making its way into government is the "choose life" license plate scam.  Part of the funds from selling the plates go to the state, but a portion also goes to support "pregnancy centers that do not offer abortion as an alternative." 

The battle seems headed for the Supreme Court, particularly since states like Tennessee — which allow sales of the plates — won’t allow pro-choice groups the same options.  You expect this kind of stuff in a place like Tennessee, but when these anti-choice groups start trying to make a beach head in blue states like Connecticut using the same tactics it’s quite a different matter. 

So what happened when the Connecticut state DMV said they were reviewing the right of an out-of-state group to sell such license plates in Connecticut?  The group’s president, Elizabeth Rex of Yonkers, New York, produced her letters of support, incuding one from…wait for it…Joe Lieberman.

Planned Parenthood has been vocal in their denunciation of this particular scam, as they were when Massachusetts began to consider the license plates. 

From the Boston Globe:

”Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts believes that state government should not be sanctioning political messages on license plates," Dianne Luby, the group’s president and chief executive, said in a written statement. ”Specialty plates are an important source of revenue for causes like cancer research and environmental protection. They shouldn’t be used for political slogans."

Massachusetts has 12 special license plates that support causes from environmental protection to curing cancer to the families of those killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. None supports political or religious groups.

So Rape Gurney Joe thinks that rape victims should be wiling to take a "short ride" to find emergency contraception, he voted for cloture on the Dobson-loving Samuel Alito, and he believes that it’s okay for the state’s license plate to advertise anti-choice slogans and support "pregnancy centers that do not offer abortion as an alternative," a lynch pin in the right-wing war to deny women choice. 

Writing in AlterNet, Amanda Marcotte peeled back the dirty covers on the anti-choice "pregnancy center" scam:

According to a recent Planned Parenthood email, a 17-year-old girl mistakenly walked into a crisis pregnancy center thinking it was Planned Parenthood, which was next door. "The group took down the girl’s confidential personal information and told her to come back for her appointment, which they said would be in their ‘other office’ (the real Planned Parenthood office nearby).

"When she showed up for her nonexistent appointment, she was met by the police, who had been erroneously tipped that a minor was being forced to abort. The crisis pregnancy center staff followed up this harassment by staking out the girl’s house, phoning her father at work, and even talking to her classmates about her pregnancy, urging them to harass her.

Sarah Wheat of NARAL-TX wrote an expose of these overtly political, fraudulent and deceptive centers here

Yet Joe Lieberman continues to run around and claim that he has a positive rating on his NARAL scorecard (this despite the fact that both NARAL-CT head Carolyn Treis and PP-CT head Susan Yelon have both come out for Ned Lamont).  

Can anyone explain to me why the national arms of NARAL and Planned Parenthood, which control Senate endorsements, haven’t come out and called bullshit on Lieberman’s phony pro-choice claims? Why don’t they support a real pro-choice candidate, Ned Lamont?  As Pach said in his fine post on Lieberman’s phony GLTB rights bona fides (where Ned Lamont speaks out about his commitment to privacy rights), the people on the ground in the community seem to get it.  On a national level, gorging on cocktail weenies with incumbents seems to trump any commitment to the actual cause, even as Rape Gurney Joe stands on the beach in Connecticut and welcomes the anti-choice forces onto the shores with open arms.

The Boston Globe article indicates that these license plates generate about $5 milion annually in revenues.  If you’d like to directly counteract the damage this kind of money can do to choice in this country, you can give to Ned Lamont here.