VA Senate Restores Planned Parenthood Funding in “Respect Choice” License Plate Bill

Yesterday I noted that efforts to offer “Trust Women/Respect Choice” license plates in Virginia had been been subverted with state legislators in the House passed a bill directing any money raised from their sale to the Virginia Pregnant Women Support Fund instead of Planned Parenthood.

Well, the state Senate has now passed its own version of the bill which explicitly rejected that attempt:

The Virginia Senate, controlled by Democrats, has passed a measure that would create a specialty state license plate with the message “Trust Women/Respect Choice.” Some of the application fee money paid by drivers who select the plate would go to the Virginia League of Planned Parenthood.

Drivers in Virginia, which loves its vanity plates, already are allowed to select one with the logo “Choose Life.”

Today’s action put the Senate’s bill on the issue in conflict with one passed by the Republican-controlled House of Delegates on Monday. Delegates chose to strip out Planned Parenthood funding and send the application fees for the plate to a state fund to help pregnant women instead.

Democrats in the Senate fended off an amendment to the bill from state Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonberg) that would have followed the House’s lead, allowing the creation of the plates but without sending money to Planned Parenthood.

Gov. Bob McDonnell has already made clear that he supports stripping Planned Parenthood of any state funding it receives while Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said he would defend the state if lawmakers refuse to create the plate, so it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.