Eighteen Carroll County residents have received freshly minted Iowa license plates bearing a "choose life" message - a statement of opposition to abortion.
The plates, recently approved by The Iowa Department of Transportation, began arriving at the Carroll County Treasurer's Office on June 7.
County Treasurer Peggy Weitl, a Carroll Democrat, expects to issue more of the plates. She said the anti-abortion movement is strong in the region.
"I think it's the community, the demographics of where we live," Weitl said.
The plates cost $25 to purchase beyond the regular registration fees. Each year, during renewal of registration, the plates will cost vehicle owners an extra $5. Plates with a personalized message instead of the state-issued numbers - and bearing the "choose life" slogan - cost $50 initially.
Weitl said those interested in purchasing the plates can visit the treasurer's office or order them through the Iowa Department of Transportation's website - www.iowadot.gov.
The plates take about three to four weeks for delivery.
Iowa offers more than 60 vanity or specialty license plates, many of them associated with the state's three public universities, Weitl said.
Weitl said she's heard the pro-choice movement is working on plans for a license plate with a message representing its viewpoints.
The DOT requires at least 500 paid applications on a request for a specialty plate before consideration.
DOT officials have said the "choose life" plates are the most controversial the state has printed.
Weitl said she doesn't have figures on how many more drivers in Carroll County have ordered the plates since the county serves as a pass-through entity for the DOT on the transactions.