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Possible License Plate Choice Has Its Pros and Cons

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RALEIGH — A controversial proposal to offer a new specialty license plate in NorthCarolina is raising eyebrows.

If passed, drivers who choose the specialty plate will help fund pro-lifepregnancy crisis centers in the state.

State Representative Mitch Gillespie says themoney raised, $15 a plate, would help one center in his district.

"They're only able to staff it three days a week. They try to assist threedifferent counties. They saw about 300 girls last year that came throughtheir doors. They struggle to exist," he says.

Gillespie got the idea for the Choose Life license plate while surfingthe Internet.The plate, which originated in Florida last year, has already raised about$300,000 for pro-life centers.

The controversial plate faces several legal challenges along the way.Gillespie says he is prepared for them, as well as foropposition from other lawmakers, including Rep. Bob Hensley.

Hensley says the state already has 130 specialty plates on the roads, so heis against adding any more. However, he does offer a solution.

"If they want a Choose Life plate, theyneed either to put it on the front of the caror, if they want, they can get a license plate frame."

The money raised would go to the county wherethe plate was purchased.It would then be up to the county commissionerto distribute the money evenly between centers.

Hensley says he expects the bill to pass becauselawmakers are reluctant to oppose any license plate that raises money for a cause -- even if it is a cause they do not support.

Reporter: Ericka LewisPhotographer: David Renner

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