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Anti-abortion license plates prompt battle

CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 3 (UPI) -- Political and legal battles are raging in North Carolina and other U.S. states over the use of license plates offering anti-abortion messages, officials say.

North Carolina state Rep. Mitch Gillespie put forward a bill that would legalize the use of a Choose Life license plate by state drivers, The Guardian reported Sunday.

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"We are not going to unveil a tag that would have something on there that is offensive to anybody, that would show a fetus or something like that," said Gillespie, a Republican.

But North Carolina state Rep. Ty Harrell, a Democrat, opposes the license plate proposal, saying its controversial nature violates a state ban on political slogans.

"You don't see any controversial plates, any political plates anywhere in the state. You see the Great Smoky Mountains, you see First in Flight. You see the sea turtles -- causes without controversy," he said.

The Guardian said similar legal and political battles have taken place in Illinois, Missouri and South Carolina. Results in those fights have ranged from judicial support for the Choose Life plates to a ruling clearing the way for a pro-choice plate, the British newspaper said.

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