AUSTIN -- There is perhaps no better way for drivers to express themselves then with their license plates. This past November anti-abortion advocates in Texas got a new canvass -- the "Choose Life" plate.
In 2011 state legislators passed a bill introducing the specialty plate, but with one condition. The plates cost $30, and 22 of those dollars have to go into a special fund.
"The money's intended to go to organizations that are committed to both the "choose life" message as well as aiding the adoption process," said Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.
Abbott oversees the spending of that money. Friday he named a seven-person committee to decide who will get funding. The volunteers are from all over Texas, all walks of life, but the story of member Julie Stobbe stands out.
"I'm here as a product of having been placed for adoption because when I was conceived, I was conceived by a 17-year-old scared teenager," explained Stobbe. "She thankfully got great support from her family and researched her options."
Stobbe says her birth mother's decision gave her the opportunity to have a family and she hopes to equip women with that same information.
"Every day in every corner of this entire state, adoption is bridging the gap between children who are seeking hope and families that are providing a brighter future for those children," added Abbott.
Since November, 1,400 Texans have purchased the plates, generating nearly $32,000. Stobbe admits the budget isn't much but said she is enthusiastic about the future of the committee.
"We've got to start somewhere right? And so we're thankful that we finally have the plate, that we have the opportunity to serve. We're going to start with what we have and in the future grow on it," Stobbe added.
The National Abortion Reproductive Rights Action League Pro-Choice Texas issued this statement on the plates:
The appointment of this board is the first step in distributing monies collected by the sale of choose life license plates. It remains inappropriate for the state to use its resources to promote and fund unlicensed crisis pregnancy centers who do not provide medical care and have as their primary goal preventing women from having abortions by coercing them with misinformation. NARAL Pro-choice Texas supported the creation of a choose adoption plate with money going to licensed adoption agencies, but the proponents of this bill were more interested in making a statement about abortion than doing what was best for Texas women in need. We hope the panel appointed today sees fit to fund licensed adoption agencies and maternity homes rather than ideologically driven crisis pregnancy centers.
Currently, Texas does not have any abortion rights plates, but there also aren't any organized efforts to have such a plate created. Abbott says there's a process to petition the legislation to create one if someone wants to.