By SUZANNE HAUGH, Special To The Bulletin | Published May 24, 2007
With the help of pro-life supporters across the state, “Choose Life” license plates will be coming to Georgia.
Last fall Georgia voters approved an amendment to the state constitution that led to legislation allowing for the sale of a specific list of specialty tags, with a portion of funds collected going to support affiliated nonprofit organizations. The Choose Life license plate is one of over 10 specialty license plates, and proceeds from its sale will benefit adoption agencies.
“To be recognized by the state, I’m just really glad,” said Mary Boyert, director of the Pro Life Office for the Archdiocese of Atlanta. “The major benefit always will be educational just with the message like we accomplish with bumper stickers on cars, … but now a portion of the proceeds will go to organizations that promote adoption.”
Boyert explained that in order to begin production of the specialty plates, a minimum of 1,000 orders must be placed.
“We actually have until January 2008. However, if we reach our goal (of 1,000) we can start (production) as early as July 1 (of this year).”
Securing a Choose Life license plate requires a trip to the tag office. If car owners have already renewed their car registrations, or if it is not time to renew yet, the tag office will process the $25 fee and register the information in the owner’s file. When renewal next comes up, the Choose Life plates will be sent automatically, although Boyert added, “To be safe, save your receipt.”
Boyert added that since 2000, when Florida began to offer its Choose Life license plates, agencies there that counsel for adoption and not abortion received over $4 million.
Unlike Florida and other states that already offer Choose Life license plates, pro-life Georgians have had a major legal hurdle to jump.
“Georgia is in a unique situation in that its constitution did not allow money taken in to be given to nonprofits. In order for the Choose Life license plates to become legal, we had to pass first the constitutional amendment on the ballot in November, which allowed the state of Georgia to pass on the money. … It took quite awhile to get to this point.”
Some of the other organizations to receive funds from the issue of specialty license plates include the Boy Scouts of America, Stroke Awareness, Pediatric Cancer Research, the Foster Parents Program and the AIDS Survival Project.
Boyert is hopeful that many will take advantage of this opportunity to show their support for choosing adoption.
“The impact will be actually profound. There will be a great deal of money to promote adoption.”
For further information, visit www.gachoose-life.org.