CHICAGO — Today, in Roach v. Stouffer, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Missouri officials acted unconstitutionally when they denied a valid petition for a “Choose Life” license plate because of its pro-life viewpoint. The court also ordered the specialty plate be issued.
Dr. Charmaine Yoest, AUL President & CEO, stated, “It is encouraging that more and more states like Missouri are using “Choose Life” license plates to support the positive and life-affirming work of pregnancy care centers. These centers and others offer pregnant women positive choices, genuine care, and support.”
Choose Life of Missouri, Inc. filed the constitutional challenge after it was denied the specialty plate, despite its affirmative compliance with all requirements of the state’s specialty license plate program.
AUL Staff Counsel Mailee Smith noted, “The court has sent a clear signal toMissouri and other states that a pro-life message on license plates cannot be censored merely because it is pro-life in nature. That kind of state action is clearly discriminatory and will not be tolerated.”
Currently, 19 states—including Missouri —have “Choose Life” license plate programs benefiting pregnancy care centers and other abortion alternatives.
AUL filed an amicus curiae brief in support of Choose Life of Missouri, Inc., representing the interests of 17 Missouri pregnancy care centers that stand to benefit from the proceeds of the plates. AUL’s brief is available athttp://www.aul.org/xm_client/client_documents/briefs/RoachvVincent.pdf.
About Americans United for Life
Americans United for Life (AUL) is a nonprofit, public-interest law and policy organization whose vision is a nation in which everyone is welcomed in life and protected in law. The first national pro-life organization in America, AUL has been committed to defending human life through vigorous judicial, legislative, and educational efforts at both the federal and state levels since 1971. The Wall Street Journal has profiled AUL, and PBS’ Frontline program chronicled AUL’s successful efforts in Mississippi.