Action Alert

Kill a disgraceful Michigan bill!

Tell your reps. not to override veto of anti-choice bill

A deeply offensive, unconstitutional bill to offer a fundraising license plate that reads "Choose Life" was vetoed by Governor Rick Snyder, but the state legislature is trying to muster votes to override the veto.

Funds from the plate would go to the Choose Life Michigan Fund, which then must donate the money to nonprofit organizations that promote "life-affirming programs and projects." This is code for “anti-abortion” organizations. This specifically includes Crisis Pregnancy Centers, which are overtly religious anti-choice centers with a history of misleading pregnant women, such as offering free pregnancy tests and preaching against abortion.

Senate Bill 0163 passed both houses, but Governor Snyder vetoed the bill in July. Michigan Public Radio recently reported that Michigan lawmakers are likely to “show the governor they have muscle” by overriding this veto. Please take action NOW to terminate this shameful bill. Thank Governor Snyder for standing against this unconstitutional bill and urge your local representatives to respect the governor’s veto and let the bill die.

CONTACT

Please take a moment to contact your representatives asking them to oppose SB 0163.

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(Keep reading for more information about this bill.)

background 

Senate Bill 0163 legislates for a religious fundraiser that would violate the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Crisis Pregnancy Centers' primary goal is to scare teens from using contraception or seeking abortions, both of which these centers oppose for purely religious reasons. The government may not signal its endorsement of this religious agenda by holding a statewide fundraiser to support it.

Numerous studies have shown that Crisis Pregnancy Centers often sacrifice sound medical advice and basic ethical standards to spread their religious message. In 2002, the Center for Reproductive Rights found that the centers misinformed their clients about the consequences of abortions, including false claims that abortion causes breast cancer, sterility and psychological damage. In 2006, U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman released a study with similar findings, also disclosing that many Crisis Pregnancy Centers incorrectly told clients that abortion would interfere with a woman's ability to bear children in the future. Studies in multiple states have found that the centers incorrectly tell pregnant teens that condoms are ineffective in reducing pregnancy and the transmission of certain STDs, and that abortion causes mental illness. Joanne Rosen, an associate lecturer at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, concluded an article about Crisis Pregnancy Centers by writing that "collectively, [their] practices jeopardize the health of women and their children, and a public health response is warranted."

Crisis Pregnancy Centers promote a rabid evangelical Christian agenda and are hostile to nonbelievers and non-Christians, as well as the humanist principle of a woman's right to reproductive self-determination. It is beyond the scope of a secular government to fund these organizations through license plate sales.

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