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NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin Calls on Legislators to Reject Partisan License Plate Bill
Madison, WI – In advance of today’s public hearing on AB 206, NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin called on legislators to reject the proposal to create a "Choose Life” license plate. The bill’s language directs funds to Choose Life Wisconsin to "support the purposes and bylaws of Choose Life Wisconsin,” but what those purposes or bylaws are remain unclear.
Given the bill’s explicit tie to Choose Life Wisconsin and its bylaws, NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin requested a copy of Choose Life Wisconsin’s bylaws from the bill’s author, Representative Andre Jacque. Late yesterday, NARAL received a response from Jacque’s office stating, "This office is not and has not been in possession of the bylaws of Choose Life Wisconsin.”
"It is troubling that we have a legislator proposing to send funds to support an organization’s bylaws when he does not even have a copy of those bylaws. The public has a right to know what the ‘purposes and bylaws’ of Choose Life Wisconsin are before this bill is considered. Instead, a public hearing is being held today, apparently before even legislators themselves have this information,” said Jenni Dye, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin.
Pro-Life Wisconsin has stated it drafted the bylaws for Choose Life Wisconsin along with Wisconsin Family Action, and it claims on its website that funds from the license plates will go to crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs). A recent investigative report from NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin Foundation revealed that CPCs have an alarming track record of providing medically inaccurate information to women regarding their reproductive health options and of using deceptive advertising practices.
"The idea of funding CPCs, given their questionable practices, is concerning enough. Our Legislature should be working to ensure all Wisconsinites have access to quality, affordable healthcare instead of funding CPCs with a history of medically inaccurate, biased counseling and deceptive advertising practices,” said Dye.
"But today we have the Assembly holding a public hearing on a bill that may fund CPCs and may do any number of other things in Choose Life Wisconsin’s bylaws that we can’t know because the "purposes and bylaws” of Choose Life Wisconsin have not been made known to the public and cannot be obtained from the author of the bill. Further, Choose Life Wisconsin has no track record of past practices for the public to look to, as this organization is brand new.”
"Both legislators and the public deserve access to full information regarding what Choose Life Wisconsin intends to do with these funds in order to have an informed debate regarding this bill. This situation is reminiscent of the recent debacle regarding funding for United Sportsmen. The public should be able to rely on legislators to do their due diligence in researching organizations before proposing to earmark funding for them.”