High court declines to consider "Choose Life" plates

Monday, January 24th 2005, 9:55 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Supreme Court declined to consider whether South Carolina's anti-abortion license plates are unconstitutional.

The free-speech question that could have resulted in the elimination of similar programs in a dozen states, including Oklahoma.

Without comment this morning, justices rejected a challenge to a lower court ruling that says the plates, which bear the slogan ``Choose Life,'' violate the First Amendment. Anti-abortion groups say they weren't given a similar forum to express their beliefs.

Planned Parenthood of South Carolina, which filed the lawsuit, had argued the program amounts to ``viewpoint discrimination'' by state officials since they allow expression of only one side of the abortion debate.

Other states offering the plates are: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana and Tennessee.