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US judge blocks NC 'Choose Life' plates for now

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WILMINGTON, NC (AP) -- A federal judge is putting a temporary halt to North Carolina's plans to allow people to purchase anti-abortion license plates.

US District Judge James Fox on Monday issued an oral order blocking the state's Division of Motor Vehicles from issuing the license plates, which say "Choose Life."

The case will go forward in federal court with both sides presenting evidence and seeking a final judgment.

The state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is suing to block the plates from being issued, saying they violate the First Amendment because state legislators blocked a corresponding specialty plate for supporters of abortion rights.

Twenty-nine states either already make "Choose Life" plates available or have approved such plates but have not manufactured them.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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