News - Sen. Preston Smith

For pushing a license plate that makes Georgia look even stupider

This week's effort to make Georgia the laughingstock of the nation is brought to you by surprise! right-wing, pro-life nutcases in the state Senate. As unbelievable as this sounds, 38 out of 50 senators think it'd be a great idea to sell state license plates with an anti-abortion message.

Forget Georgia, the Peach State. Our senators want Georgia to be recognized around the country as the state where women aren't smart enough to choose what's best for their own bodies.

And we thought that after state School Superintendent Kathy Cox tried to take the word "evolution" out of Georgia's textbooks we'd seen it all.

What's next, an "Eric Rudolph Defense Fund" tag?

In case you're wondering, Sen. Preston Smith, R-Rome, authored the legislation. Oh, look! We found his e-mail address: pwsmith@gov.state.ga.us.

The license plate would feature the slogan "Choose Life" scrawled in a cutesy childlike hand next to crayon drawings of happy white kids. How adorable!

The tags also are ingeniously manipulative, which has become the modus operandi of the pro-life movement.

Smith's legislation says that the money generated from the license plate sales would go to so-called "crisis pregnancy centers." Judging by their ads in the Yellow Pages, crisis pregnancy centers are professional clinics where pregnant women can go for helpful, informed advice.

The truth is that many of the centers are just fronts for anti-abortion groups.

Some women who recently visited pregnancy crisis centers shared their experiences with the National Abortion Rights Action League. Inside, one woman found photos on the walls of mothers hugging their smiling children. When she asked the center's counselors about abortions, she was told they cause breast cancer, that there was a high risk that she'd never be able to have children if she got an abortion, and that "God wouldn't approve."

Another woman went into a crisis pregnancy center to ask for abortion information. The staff refused to give her any. Then they proceeded to "counsel" her by making her sit through a slide show of dead fetuses.

What makes all this worse is that the Senate shot down a motion to create a license plate that would fund AIDS/HIV research.

Right now, the "Choose Life" legislation has stalled in the House. Pray that's where it'll stay.

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