Michigan Republican Governor Rick Snyder has signed pro-life legislation into law and has been lauded by pro-life organizations for the instances in which he has put his signature to these laws. Planned Parenthood has criticized Snyder for such legislation, who has a zero percent rating from that organization, as well as from NARAL Pro-Choice America. But while Snyder is listed as being pro-life on the issues, now it seems the tables have turned. Snyder sided with the likes of Planned Parenthood and the ACLU by vetoing legislation for “Choose Life” license plates in the state.
As The Detroit News reported, the veto came on June 30 and prevented Michigan from joining 29 other states in offering drivers the chance to purchase special “Choose Life” license plates. Proceeds would have gone toward a fund governed by Right to Life of Michigan. In a press release sent to Live Action News, Barbara Listing, the group’s president, described the license plate effort as a “wonderful opportunity to provide care to pregnant women in need and help suicide prevention efforts.”
Snyder himself acknowledged that the fund would go to “noble causes” which involve “eligible nonprofit organizations of [RTL Michigan’s] choosing, such as crisis pregnancy centers, homes for pregnant women, and other organizations that provide support to pregnant women, outreach for at-risk populations, and promote alternatives to abortion.”
Despite his admission, Snyder did not sign on to supporting such a cause. In his letter to state legislators, he began by calling the legislation “more emotionally and politically charged than most,” as if Michiganders who are responsible and mature enough to drive cannot handle coming across the license plate of another driver which communicates a view they may disagree with.
Further in his letter, Snyder emphasized this concern by discussing how the supposedly “political statement” communicated in the license plate “arouses strong emotional reaction that divides the reactions of this state.” Such a worst case scenario, which surely cannot be that terrible, is not even a sure consequence, as acknowledged by Snyder. In his conclusion he says it has, with added emphasis, “the potential to bitterly divide millions of Michiganders…” which is why he felt the need to issue a veto.
His reasoning has a familiar ring to it. From The Detroit News:
Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan testified against the proposed license plate in committee, arguing it would amount to “viewpoint discrimination” because it would only give voice to one side of a political debate.
In a Facebook post linking to The Detroit News article, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan wrote that “[w]omen’s health care should not be political and Governor Snyder agrees.”
It’s almost laughable for Planned Parenthood to make such a suggestion, as the organization is well known for playing politics, including when it comes to “women’s health care,” as their organization receives over $550 million a year from taxpayers (an amount which has increased, along with abortions), and a Congressional committee found that Planned Parenthood’s political arms earn taxpayer funding as well. Women’s health care would be better served by routing Planned Parenthood’s dollars to Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), which vastly outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities, to earn that funding in its place.
Governor Snyder is prevented by term limits from running again, which may have something to do with the veto, as Snyder does not have to answer to pro-life voters. Republican State Senator Patrick Colbeck, the bill’s sponsor, who called the veto “utterly disgraceful,” wants to know “whether there was any personal motivation behind the veto by Snyder,” according to The Detroit News.
Listing said Right to Life Michigan “look[s] forward to taking the issue up with our next governor.” RTL Michigan may very well have better luck, as Colbeck has announced he intends to run for governor in 2018.