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Wisconsin GOP lawmaker pushing for 'Choose Life' plates

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Associated Press | September 24, 2013

MADISON — A Republican lawmaker is again pushing a bill to create anti-abortion license plates to generate money for crisis pregnancy centers, drawing the ire of abortion rights supporters still smarting from new GOP restrictions on providers.

Rep. Andre Jacque's proposal would create plates that read "Choose Life" and feature an image of an infant's footprint. Purchasers would have to pay both the annual $75 vehicle registration fee and a $15 special plate fee. On top of that, they'd have to pay another $25 that would go to Choose Life Wisconsin Inc., a corporation that anti-abortion groups Wisconsin Family Action and Pro-Life Wisconsin have set up to funnel money to crisis pregnancy centers' adoption programs.

Jacque, R-De Pere, said 29 other states offer similar anti-abortion license plates.

"This is certainly a cause that is worthy of support," Jacque said. "It's supporting women and children."

Jacque introduced a similar bill at the end of the last session but it went nowhere. The new measure's prospects look murky as well.

The Assembly transportation committee has scheduled a public hearing on the proposal for Tuesday afternoon but a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said Senate Republicans haven't discussed the measure and it's not on what he called "the fast track." A spokesman for Republican Gov. Scott Walker was noncommittal, saying the governor would evaluate the bill if it reached his desk.

Republicans went through a bruising fight this summer to pass a sweeping measure requiring women seeking abortions to get ultrasounds and abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. Senate President Mike Ellis, R-Neenah, became so enraged at minority Democrats during debate that he banged his gavel hard enough to break the base.



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