On August 27, 2004, the Liberty Counsel received permission from U.S. District Judge Harry Barnes to intervene in the lawsuit regarding the Arkansas "Choose Life" license plate law. As a result, Liberty Counsel will have the rights to defend for the law which has been challenged by a pro-abortion attorney.
The Arkansas "Choose Life" license plate represents an expression of the state's longstanding preference for childbirth over abortion. The Arkansas Senate approved the Bill passed by the state legislature authorizing the plates in Mar, 2003.
Base on this law, drivers in Arkansas who wish to support local crisis pregnancy centers can purchase Choose Life license plates which cost extra fee. Funds received from the plates will go to not-for-profit organizations that promote adoption and do not offer abortion services.
According to the Los Angeles Times, in November 2003, Doug Norwood, a pro-abortion attorney based in northwest Arkansas, wanted to sue the state to overturn the legislation passed by the state legislature authorizing the plates. Norwood asked Brackett to go to a license plate office near her home and request a pro-abortion license plate he knew didn't exist. After a clerk told her there was no such plate, Norwood filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court seeking to defend abortion rights.
In response to Norwoods action, several pro-life groups requested the Liberty Counsel, a pro-life law firm, to step into the defense of the Arkansas Choose Life license plate law.
"If those who call themselves 'pro-choice' were genuinely concerned about the best interests of women and children, they would welcome a pro-adoption message," said Matthew D. Staver, President and General Counsel of Liberty Counsel. "Their actions betray their rhetoric."
We are pleased that the court granted our intervention request. Now we will go toe-to-toe with the radical abortion advocates who seek to trash the 'Choose Life' license plates," Staver said.
Ten states currently have "Choose Life" plates on residents cars: Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Hawaii, Arkansas, Connecticut, Maryland, and Louisiana, and Montana. It is estimated some 40,000 plates have been sold nationwide.
Nationally, the tags have raised some $2.6 million to help pay for adoption services, health care and other expenses for pregnant women considering abortion, and other abortion alternatives.
Last year, after being granted intervention, Liberty Counsel successfully defended Florida's "Choose Life" license plate.