State Commission Approves License Plate For Pro-Life Group


A new specialty license plate is raising eyebrows because of where the money it would raise would go.

The separation of church and state has been one of the most important, and debated, concepts in America.

It’s outlined in the First Amendment of the Constitution, which forbids laws establishing a national church.

So did Nevada lawmakers just violate it?

A little-known state commission just approved a new specialty license plate promoted by a Christian group. Money from the sale of that plate will return to the group, Women's Resource Medical Centers of Southern Nevada.

A preliminary design of the plate presented to the commission showed a photo of a baby to the side, and underneath, the words: "Values Life."

Women’s Resource Medical Centers describes itself as, quote, “helping to save the lives of unborn children by sharing the love of Jesus Christ…”

The state Commission on Special License Plates voted 3-1 to approve the plate. Las Vegas Assemblyman Richard Carrillo voted against it.

Elisa Cafferata, president and CEO of Nevada Advocates for Planned Parenthood Affiliates, sent a letter in protest. Cafferata told KNPR's State of Nevada she doesn't object to the plate's message. Instead, she objects to the fact that revenue from the plate will go back to a religious-based group.

That, she added, violates Nevada's Constitution.

Support comes from

During a meeting of the license plate commission, Attorney Matthew Mundy, from Nevada's Legislative Counsel Bureau, said that the intent of state statutes was that the plate message could not be religious. But he said there is no problem with the group that created the plate to be religious.

He added that he did not believe the message on the plate to be religious in nature. 

"If this plate is approved, Nevada would be endorsing the message, choose life or whatever similar message ... I’m not of the opinion that this message is overtly religious in nature.

"But the commission should be aware that the plate and its message is inextricably linked to an organization that does espouse a religious viewpoint. And I believe similar associations in other states will lead to litigation.” 




Elisa Cafferata, president/CEO, Nevada Advocates for Planned Parenthood Affiliates.



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