Anti-Pro-Choice Choices

 

When you see a bumper sticker that says “choose life,” your blood might boil. Oh, the car’s occupant may say it’s a pro-adoption sentiment, but you know what they’re really about. They oppose abortion, probably because of the dictates of big beardy Sky Daddy who thinks eight cells are the equivalent of Neil DeGrasse Tyson. This person probably walks around the crisis pregnancy center with a placard full of horrible pictures (not that the pictures themselves are wrong — they’re just gross, and triggering, and unfair, and totally unscientific. Just because something has a face doesn’t mean it’s human. I mean, those could be gummis). The driver is TAUNTING everyone. Choose life. Hah. Where are you when the unwanted child is born? Do you show up with diapers and money? No? Well, then keep your sentiments to yourself. Bet you watch the Duggars.

Most people who see “Choose Life” bumperstickers let it go, and perhaps confine themselves to glaring at the driver. But it’s possible that someone might speed up and ram the car, causing it to spin out and creating a chain-reaction pile-up that endangers public safety. So it’s a really, really good thing that the “Choose Life” license plate has been squashed in New York. Reuters:

A divided federal appeals court gave New York wide authority to regulate the content of custom license plates, and reversed a lower court ruling ordering the state to let an adoption advocacy group put the words “Choose Life” on its own plates.

By a 2-1 vote, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the commissioner of the state Department of Motor Vehicles had “broad discretion” to decide which plates to permit, and did not violate the First Amendment free speech rights of the Children First Foundation in rejecting the “Choose Life” plates.

Writing for the majority, Circuit Judge Rosemary Pooler said the content of custom plates was “private speech” and the plates themselves a “nonpublic forum.”

She said it followed that the DMV’s uniform policy of excluding controversial, politically sensitive messages from plates, which the agency said stemmed from highway safety concerns, was “reasonable and viewpoint neutral, which is all that the First Amendment requires.”

Judge Rosemary Pooler, a Democrat, was appointed by Bill Clinton.

A spokeswoman for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Liz DeBold, declined to comment.

Of course she would; who are you to require anything more than what the courts have said?

The New York Daily News adds some more judicial wisdom:

People “may display a ‘Choose Life’ bumper sticker — or even cover every available square inch of their vehicle with such stickers. That message will resonate just as loudly as if vehicle displayed a ‘Choose Life’ license plate. It will merely do so without the perception of State endorsement,” two judges wrote in a majority opinion.

You wouldn’t want anyone to think the state was endorsing this.

lifeSince cars are licensed and drive on public highways, it might be a matter of time before someone decides that bumper stickers are offensive, and the implications behind a CHOOSE LIFE bumper sticker are not just marginalizing your experience, but creating an unsafe space in which personal narratives are otherized. In slow traffic you are literally forced to look at hate speech. Bumper stickers, when you come right down to it, are fighting words, inasmuch as they present a proposition with which you disagree.

I think we should require a certain level of anodyne comity in bumperstickers, and restrict their content. This wouldn’t infringe on anyone’s “rights,” really; you could still put an offensive bumpersticker on the bulletin board at your house. As long as the drapes were closed and no one could see it from the sidewalk.

Those are public thoroughfares, you know.

There are 38 comments.

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  1. user_348375 Inactive
    user_348375
    @TrinityWaters

    Too clever by far, James!  All hail Pamela Gellar.

    • #1
  2. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Sadly I’ve learned that having ANYTHING on your car suggesting you aren’t part of the Hive Mind is an invitation to have your car keyed, or your antenna or wiper broken.  It’s those tolerant, coexisting, diversity loving Progressives at their naked best.

    • #2
  3. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Yep.  Just don’t follow me down the road.

    ViolinoPlate

    • #3
  4. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    I take is someone found counsel for the Children First Foundation smoking–the judge dropped the hammer.

    Now, as to the business with the license plates–it seems, left & right activists can find no agreement, so if there is to be some kind of public agreement, appeasers can only say something like, don’t allow anything political or religious–license plates should be like polite conversation! (Except on Ricochet, where I’ve heard somebody heard somebody disagree politely about the naughty stuff…) But that neutrality to politics & religion is itself a political statement more likable to one part than the other. & anyway, no one will be satisfied with an agreement here. It’s just another conflict to define the great American fault line…

    • #4
  5. user_44643 Inactive
    user_44643
    @MikeLaRoche

    What does the state of New York have against Wham?

    • #5
  6. 10 cents Member
    10 cents
    @

    It’s my car body so what right do you have to tell me what to do with it.

    I am going with “Choose Wife” just to be subversive and give a Labio-velar approximant a job.

    • #6
  7. Rightfromthestart Coolidge
    Rightfromthestart
    @Rightfromthestart

    What’s really galling is that “choose life” is about as milquetoast as you could get, it doesn’t threaten, it doesn’t demand, it doesn’t condemn, it doesn’t cajole , it merely suggests that you consider another option. This is still to much for the forces of ‘tolerance’ which, of course, was James point. It shows the absolute confidence of the left that their side is not only winning, it has won and is now free to roam the country picking off the tiniest pockets of resistance.

    • #7
  8. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    If that car is keyed, it’s the owner’s fault. S/he should have known what kind of reaction it would provoke.

    And now that ObamaCare pays public money for the victims of the ensuing violence, it’s a matter of national security that we don’t take money away from the fight against terrorism to pay for the inevitable results.

    • #8
  9. PHCheese Inactive
    PHCheese
    @PHCheese

    I was at the You squirt car wash not long ago. I found a Support The NRA magnetic bumper sticker that must have come off a car from a previous wash. I threw it in the pocket of my car door and sort of forgot about. While at the mall the other day there was a car covered with every leftist sticker imaginable. I couldn’t help my self. I snuck over at stuck it in a prominent place.

    • #9
  10. TeeJaw Inactive
    TeeJaw
    @TeeJaw

    Eliminating this license plate while allowing others with a different message is about as content based as you can get. This female judge was clearly acting as the judge in her own case.

    • #10
  11. Rachel Lu Contributor
    Rachel Lu
    @RachelLu

    I like the one that advises you to go organic by giving birth. (Also the fresh and local option!)

    • #11
  12. 10 cents Member
    10 cents
    @

    Let’s think this out. Many many women have had abortions. It probably bothers them to see a “Choose Life” license plate. It gives them flash backs. Conservatives want to stop abortions but we need to also deal with those who have had one or more. Do we call them “baby killers”? Do we offer them a way to reconcile their pasts?

    • #12
  13. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    10 cents:Let’s think this out. Many many women have had abortions. It probably bothers them to see a “Choose Life” license plate. It gives them flash backs. Conservatives want to stop abortions but we need to also deal with those who have had one or more. Do we call them “baby killers”? Do we offer them a way to reconcile their pasts?

    I think it’s quite a leap from choose life to baby killer. I am surprised that you think no one should feel guilty about this–or are you saying, they probably already do, & this is just too much?

    • #13
  14. 10 cents Member
    10 cents
    @

    Titus Techera:

    10 cents:Let’s think this out. Many many women have had abortions. It probably bothers them to see a “Choose Life” license plate. It gives them flash backs. Conservatives want to stop abortions but we need to also deal with those who have had one or more. Do we call them “baby killers”? Do we offer them a way to reconcile their pasts?

    I think it’s quite a leap from choose life to baby killer. I am surprised that you think no one should feel guilty about this–or are you saying, they probably already do, & this is just too much?

    I am not sure how to handle this. How should we feel about the father too? Titus, any ideas?

    • #14
  15. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    10 cents:

    Titus Techera:

    10 cents:Let’s think this out. Many many women have had abortions. It probably bothers them to see a “Choose Life” license plate. It gives them flash backs. Conservatives want to stop abortions but we need to also deal with those who have had one or more. Do we call them “baby killers”? Do we offer them a way to reconcile their pasts?

    I think it’s quite a leap from choose life to baby killer. I am surprised that you think no one should feel guilty about this–or are you saying, they probably already do, & this is just too much?

    I am not sure how to handle this. How should we feel about the father too? Titus, any ideas?

    I wonder about that. I know women who have had abortions. It is like a death in the family. It blights people, though they learn to cover it up in time. I know no man, however, whose baby was aborted. That is worth a post, or more. I can imagine that some do not care–I have heard of men who think it is the essence of nobility to pay for the baby to be killed–but I can also imagine a man who is devastated.

    I think someone on Ricochet said he was involved with a woman who threatened to kill his baby by abortion… I dare not pry into a man’s soul who suffered this. Choose life might mean a lot…

    • #15
  16. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @TempTime

    Titus Techera:

    Choose life might mean a lot…

    As it should.

    • #16
  17. user_423975 Coolidge
    user_423975
    @BrandonShafer

    How are license plates a “non-public forum”?

    • #17
  18. user_5186 Inactive
    user_5186
    @LarryKoler

    The two words would be uncontroversial in any other time in our history — BUT they would never be desired in any other time in our history either. The only reason they are banned in this example is because of the political nature of abortion. This is political speech in its purest form — it only has a political motive. Unless it is aimed at the child and not the polity.

    To join a club that want’s to convince a person who is going to an abortion clinic not to have an abortion is considered a political act — UNLESS the desire is just to save a child’s life — one at a time — and cares not about the politics. Tough to decide, isn’t it?

    • #18
  19. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    Brandon Shafer:How are license plates a “non-public forum”?

    Well, if the gov’t publishes them, of course they’re non-public. Gov’t is private, don’cha know!

    • #19
  20. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    When I see the words “Choose Life” I think of the movie Trainspotting:

    • #20
  21. Knotwise the Poet Member
    Knotwise the Poet
    @KnotwisethePoet

    Titus Techera:

    10 cents:

    Titus Techera:

    10 cents:Let’s think this out. Many many women have had abortions. It probably bothers them to see a “Choose Life” license plate. It gives them flash backs. Conservatives want to stop abortions but we need to also deal with those who have had one or more. Do we call them “baby killers”? Do we offer them a way to reconcile their pasts?

    I think it’s quite a leap from choose life to baby killer. I am surprised that you think no one should feel guilty about this–or are you saying, they probably already do, & this is just too much?

    I am not sure how to handle this. How should we feel about the father too? Titus, any ideas?

    I wonder about that. I know women who have had abortions. It is like a death in the family. It blights people, though they learn to cover it up in time. I know no man, however, whose baby was aborted. That is worth a post, or more.

    This 2012 post by Tommy De Seno touches on the topic, and includes a heartbreaking poem by one father whose child was aborted.

    • #21
  22. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    Knotwise the Poet:

    Titus Techera:

    10 cents:

    Titus Techera:

    10 cents:Let’s think this out. Many many women have had abortions. It probably bothers them to see a “Choose Life” license plate. It gives them flash backs. Conservatives want to stop abortions but we need to also deal with those who have had one or more. Do we call them “baby killers”? Do we offer them a way to reconcile their pasts?

    I think it’s quite a leap from choose life to baby killer. I am surprised that you think no one should feel guilty about this–or are you saying, they probably already do, & this is just too much?

    I am not sure how to handle this. How should we feel about the father too? Titus, any ideas?

    I wonder about that. I know women who have had abortions. It is like a death in the family. It blights people, though they learn to cover it up in time. I know no man, however, whose baby was aborted. That is worth a post, or more.

    This 2012 post by Tommy De Seno touches on the topic, and includes a heartbreaking poem by one father whose child was aborted.

    Thanks for telling me about this. I’ll read up-

    • #22
  23. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    I think maybe the left is winning. I just tried to answer Knotwise here above & the computer asked me to verify I am human by doing what it told me to do. This is not alright, fellows. Ricochet may not have much of a future-

    • #23
  24. Larry3435 Member
    Larry3435
    @Larry3435

    Just how many characters do license plates have in New York?

    • #24
  25. 10 cents Member
    10 cents
    @

    Titus Techera:I think maybe the left is winning. I just tried to answer Knotwise here above & the computer asked me to verify I am human by doing what it told me to do. This is not alright, fellows. Ricochet may not have much of a future-

    It happens when you put up comments too fast.

    • #25
  26. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    10 cents:

    Titus Techera:I think maybe the left is winning. I just tried to answer Knotwise here above & the computer asked me to verify I am human by doing what it told me to do. This is not alright, fellows. Ricochet may not have much of a future-

    It happens when you put up comments too fast.

    My ancient enemy, the sock poppet, you win again! I’m disgraced. It’s back to the bottle–the bottle does not calculate my typing speed…

    • #26
  27. Reese Member
    Reese
    @Reese

    Misthiocracy:When I see the words “Choose Life” I think of the movie Trainspotting:

    Ack.  What a movie.  Hurts the confidence in the future of humanity, until it doesn’t.

    While we’re linking videos on the subject (Loved Wake me up Before you Go-Go), how about 1976 when the issue was raw in the  SCOTUS, some Blimies and string contractors gave us Livin’ Thing:

    It is still raw, as the people have not been allowed to decide.

    • #27
  28. Ann K Member
    Ann K
    @

    And to coexist with the little one for nine months or so!

    • #28
  29. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Why is “Pro-Choice” the opposite of “Pro-Life”?  Strictly, grammatically, the opposite of Pro-Life would be Pro-Death (which those who are pro-abortion are).

    • #29
  30. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    RushBabe49:Why is “Pro-Choice” the opposite of “Pro-Life”? Strictly, grammatically, the opposite of Pro-Life would be Pro-Death (which those who are pro-abortion are).

    Both pro-choice and pro-life are inaccurate terms.  The pro-choice people are not pro-choice and the pro-life people are not pro life.  The correct terms are anti-abortion and pro-abortion.

    • #30

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