LANSING — State Representative Pam Faris (D-Clio) and state Senator Hoon-Yung Hopgood (D-Taylor) introduced legislation in the House and Senate today to establish a “Women’s Health” fundraising license plate.

“These bills will allow citizens to support the various organizations in our state that offer important health care services to support the well-being of Michigan women and children, especially lower-income women or those without adequate health care,” said Sen. Hopgood. “These groups provide practical and essential care that the people we serve depend on, and we should continue to work to help make sure they are adequately funded.”

House Bill 4360 and its Senate counterpart would create the Women’s Health Fund to provide money for organizations that provide prenatal care and other health care services. They would also allow citizens’ dollars to be leveraged even further to support Michigan women and children by directing the funds raised through the license plate to be used as matching funds for the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant.

“The health of Michigan women and children is not a partisan issue, and we should support all related organizations equally,” said Rep. Faris. “Playing favorites and funding overtly political causes does not help Michigan’s citizens. Funds raised through our bills will go directly, and only, to health care services to benefit women and children.”

The need for a Women’s Health license plate was underscored Wednesday by the Senate’s party-line passage of Senate Bill 84 to establish a “Choose Life Michigan Fund” fundraising license plate. Such specialty license plates have attracted attention nationally as well, as the United States Supreme Court is waiting to hear a case from North Carolina regarding the state’s approval of a “Choose Life” license plate and denial of one defending a woman’s right to choose, as well as a case from Texas on whether a specialty license plate featuring the Confederate flag is protected as free speech.