Virginia’s “Trust women. Respect choice.” license plate. Photo by Eli Christman / Creative Commons 2.0.
Pro-life and pro-choice plates aren’t new to Virginia: the Commonwealth has issued “Choose Life” plates and “Trust Women. Respect the choice.” since 2010. According to Virginia DMV figures, 3,221 pro-choice plates and 5,210 pro-life plates were on the road at the end of July.
The US Supreme Court overturned it Roe v. calf however, more people are buying pro-choice plates in June. This follows a trend at DMV: since July 2020, the number of pro-choice plates has increased from 2,646, while the number of pro-life plates has decreased from 5,363. From June 22 to July 31 of this year, 135 people got new Pro Choice license plates on their cars. That might not seem like much, but consider that the number of Pro Choice license plates on the roads increased by 178 from July 2020 to June 2021.
Virginia is one of the rare states that offers both pro-choice and pro-life license plates. In fact, only Virginia and Pennsylvania offer pro-choice license plates, while 34 states offer “Choose Life” license plates, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which follows reproductive health policies. DC and Maryland both offer pro-life license plates.
“Trust women. Respect the choice.” Records are $25, and $15 of the $25 fee goes directly to the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood. The money must not flow into abortion aid.
Choose Life records were the brainchild of Choose Life, Inc, a Florida anti-abortion advocacy group. In some states, the Choose Life records help fund crisis pregnancy centers that discourage women from having abortions. In Virginia, $15 of the $25 fee will be donated to Heartbeat International, Inc. for distribution to these centers. Choose Life, Inc claims the records have raised $29 million nationally.
Trust Women, Respect Choice signs are available from Virginia’s DMV here and “Choose Life” records are available here.