Skip to comments.Democrats Prevail Again: Texas House Kills Push for Anti-Abortion License Plates
Posted on 05/26/2003 8:41:51 AM PDT by Theodore R.
House kills push for anti-abortion license plates
BY CONNIE MABIN Associated Press Writer
AUSTIN - A push to create a "Choose Life" license plate was derailed in the Texas House Sunday when a San Antonio Democrat said a committee that passed the bill violated a House rule requiring two hours' notice of a meeting.
"This bill won't come back," said Rep. Larry Phillips, R-Sherman, sponsor of the measure that contained the license plate provision. He said he'd look for other ways to revive the bill.
Committee deadlines have passed and the session ends June 2.
Rep. Mike Villarreal, D-San Antonio, called the "point of order" after Republicans moved to cut off debate and vote on the bill despite several proposed amendments yet to be considered.
He said the House Transportation Committee met May 14 and voted out the legislation without giving enough advance notice, as rules require.
The maneuvering sparked tension in the chamber, where several members raised their voices at each other and cursed as they discussed the bill long after Speaker Tom Craddick sustained the point of order.
Besides allowing for new specialty plates, the bill would have changed the way Texas issues the tags to make the process consistent. It also allowed for the sale of Texas souvenir license plates.
Some money generated from the fees, an estimated $1.9 million over the next two years, would have gone to the state's general revenue fund and the transportation fund for road projects.
But it was the anti-abortion plate amendment by Rep. Arlene Wohlgemuth, R-Burleson, that drew the most passionate debate and sparked the parliamentary battle.
Wohlgemuth wanted a portion of the $30 raised from sale of the plate to go to charities that help pregnant women and adoptive parents and that encourage women not to have an abortion.
"It is devoted to trying to make sure those babies are born to begin with," Wohlgemuth said.
Proponents said people who choose to buy the plate should have the right to know their money is going to organizations they support.
Before debate was halted, Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, wanted to also create a "Choose Choice" plate that would also send money to the adoption charities. Her amendment failed 83-46.
Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, argued Wohlgemuth's move was meant to erode a women's right to choose an abortion. People who support adoption charities could donate money to them without buying a license plate, she said.
"It's not about adoption; it's about making a political statement," Dukes said.
The bill also allowed for specialty plates for veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom, a Juneteenth tag, one for the March of Dimes and several others. Backers of those were upset with the measure's demise.
The specialty license plate bill is SB 1704.
AP reporter Natalie Gott contributed to this report.
I supose they've learned just how far unprincipled people are willing to go to frustrate the majority they used to hold.
Rule of Law means nothing to them. Acquisition and maintanence of power is ALL that interests them, period.
These people are truely amazing. They would rather have the state go without much needed monies for even their own givaway projects than to dare allow a pro-life message any space in the public arena. Death to babies before tax monies, thats their new slogan.