RI Governor Vetoes 'Choose Life' License Plate

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Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee has vetoed legislation to authorize a "Choose Life" license plate.

The plates would have raised funds for the Christian crisis pregnancy group CareNet Pregnancy Center of Rhode Island.

Lawmakers approved the plate in early July, but Chafee said it would be inappropriate to use state plates to raise money for a Christian organization.

"It is my belief that state participation in the transmission of funds to this organization would violate the separation of church and state, one of the fundamental principles upon which our state was founded," he wrote in a letter to lawmakers.

Barth Bracy, executive director of Right to Life of Rhode Island, said Chafee was "hiding behind the separation of church and state."

"The 'Choose Life' plate is already available in Massachusetts and Connecticut," Bracy said. "Governor Chafee's veto reveals an extremism on abortion ... that is grossly out of step with other New England Democrats."

Lawmakers could attempt to override the veto, but such a move is unlikely.

Twenty-nine states offer similar plates.

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