The bill is similar to many that have popped up in state legislatures over the past few years: it would have the Department of Motor Vehicles issue Choose Life license plates, with the fees collected therefrom going to Citizens for Life, and to issue Choose Death plates with funds going to the "Department of Mental Health to use for counseling post abortion trauma in females who have had abortions."
PG makes the clever riposte that she's all about "choosing life," but she objects to giving money to groups which are about eliminating the "choice" aspect of it. In fact, while I think she may be taking this whole thing a bit too seriously, I think she is on to something about what this reveals about the pro-life movement. For all the talk about how feminism turns women into liberal, witch-craft practicing lesbians, conservatives have (finally) come to terms with the fact that most Americans support the idea of women, you know, having rights and not being seen as the state as baby-making machines with no human agency. So in recent years, pro-life rhetoric has shifted to sound more "pro-woman." And while I feel that this has created openings to work with the pro-life movement on areas of mutual concern (like effective pre-natal care), I don't think that they've really morphed into a "pro-woman" movement that happens to disagree with mainstream feminism on what policies will help American women thrive. This isn't to say that their belief that women have human dignity isn't genuine, only that it's tangential--the key issue is still banning abortion, for which aiding women (to their eyes) is a welcome but wholly ancillary benefit. PG notes that the South Carolina bill only makes sense if the pro-life paradigm privileges ending abortion over concern for women:
The idea of sending revenue from the Choose Death plates -- in the unlikely event that anyone bought such a thing -- to the state mental health department for post-abortion trauma counseling is almost as stupid. Certainly some women are manipulated into having abortions and later feel terribly about them. But the time to help those women is before they have the abortions they'll regret, not to carry them around afterwards at abortion rallies as totems for the anti-legalization movement's belief that no woman really could want to terminate a pregnancy and they're actually helping women by taking that misleading option away. Most states mandate that abortion providers give counseling, which is wholly sensible when not attached to a requirement that there be a waiting period between in-person counseling and the abortion. Such state-forced waiting periods may put a heavier burden on women who have difficulty taking off from school or work, traveling to the provider, finding child or elder care, etc.
Of course, all of the ideas embedded in the South Carolina bill make sense from the long-term strategy of banning abortion, just not from the short-term perspective of actually helping women.
I often need to remind myself of this, as my big political weakness is that I love bridging divides between conflicting camps. But you got to remember that just because you can work together on some important issues doesn't mean they'll come around on their core. Know thy friends.