TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey’s Motor Vehicles Commission has bowed out of a seven-year battle and has quietly begun offering license plates this month with the slogan “Choose Life.”

The plates can be ordered through the New York-based Children First Foundation, which first tried to get them approved in 2003.

State officials initially rejected the plates, saying they didn’t want to get into a debate over abortion. “Choose Life” is a slogan often used by anti-abortion activists. The state also said it doesn’t allow slogans, just the names of the organizations on the plates.

The Children First Foundation, with the help of the conservative Alliance Defense Fund law firm, fought the state decision in court. A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit, saying state officials have the right to reject slogans deemed political, religious or controversial. But an appeals court in April said the state’s decision may have amounted to impermissible “viewpoint discrimination” and sent the case back to the lower court.

New Jersey Motor Vehicles Commission spokesman Mike Horan said officials decided to allow the plates because they wanted to avoid further legal expenses. He said the decision was made unilaterally by state officials, not as part of a settlement with the plate’s sponsors.

The “Choose Life” plates went on sale Dec. 3. Horan said none had been sold by Friday morning.

Orders would come through the foundation, which would get $25 per plate.

The organizational tags are part of a broad system of plates in New Jersey. Special plates are available for alumni of colleges in and out of New Jersey, fans of sports teams like the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Phillies, and members of several interest groups and organizations, including square dancers, Masons and Rotary International.

Horan said the MVC doesn’t generally promote the organizational plates. It’s pitching the sports tags, however, because they generate extra revenue for the state.

(Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (13)
  1. Just wanted to say that I am eployed at a large biotherapeutic corporation in Clayton NC and I support Barack Obama with all my heart. I would love for all my friends and colleagues to re-elect Obama in 2012!! I LOVE YOU OBAMA

  2. CASH Only says:

    No doubt another “win” for Christie. For now. New Jersey’s PRO-CHOICE majority will win in 2013. Especially if NJ votes for Obama in 2012 but the GOP takes back the White House.

  3. La Nena says:

    If NJ government allow the use of this anti abortion plates, it should be fair that they also allow plates with slogans like “My body, my desicion” or “I’m Pro women choice” which can be available for those who support pro-choice organizations like Planned Parenthood or the American Civil Liberties Union to allow them to express their views too.

  4. bush says:

    Warning: this comment is in very bad taste …

    If they offer a “Choose Life” license plate, then shouldn’t they offer a “Just Use a Coat Hanger” license plate too?

    Sorry … I warned you it was in bad taste. Too much Jim Norton in my head.

  5. Susan says:

    How about “have an unwanted child and beat him or her to death.”

  6. Will says:

    These may trump DARE stickers and Jesus fishes as the indicators of the worst drivers on the road.

  7. Josh says:

    Nick isn’t a moron although he could have expressed himself better. The very people who are most against a woman’s choice are usually the last people to offer her any financial help in raising that baby. There is nothing worse than bring an unwanted child into the world. A child is a blessing, but that doesn’t mean the parents would would be better off without bringing a love-child/mistake into the world before they are truly responsible to care for it.

    1. Flynn says:

      Sorry Josh, but it’s clear from your statement that you have an intelligent, thought-out opinion on the matter. Nick is an idiot who is making (not so) subtle racially charged comments.

      1. Nick says:

        Nope. Looks like Flynn’s the moron here. I’m neither Christian nor racist. 2/3 of welfare role is WHITE.

        However, it appears that Flynn is The Racist here. Since he automatically equate welfare with certain color.

      2. Flynn says:

        Well then I apologize, Nick. I should not have been quick to lash out. I guess I’m jaded to the point that my assumption is when I see a comment like that , my kneejerk reaction is the person is making a race issue out of it.

  8. Fred says:

    Church and State.

  9. Nick says:

    Do we really really want these folks to spawn and spawn? Let them abort their mistakes and save us the headaches of welfare taxes and prison costs.

    1. Flynn says:

      Spoken like a true Christian, Nick. Hope all your Holiday wishes come true. Moron.

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