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Pregnant woman ticketed for using Texas HOV lane without passenger

Woman claims unborn child should qualify after last month's reversal of Roe v. Wade.
Toll Highways Texas
Posted at 5:48 AM, Jul 11, 2022

A pregnant Texas woman is fighting an HOV lane citation after the Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade.

Brandy Bottone said that her unborn child should count as a passenger. She was fined $215 for driving alone in a two-or-more-occupant lane.

Texas penal code recognizes an unborn child as a person, but traffic laws do not. Amy O’Donnell, a spokeswoman for Texas Alliance for Life, an anti-abortion group, told the Dallas Morning News.

“And a child residing in a mother’s womb is not taking up an extra seat. And with only one occupant taking up a seat, the car did not meet the criteria needed to drive in that lane,” O’Donnell said.

Bottone cited inconsistencies in the law after Texas implemented a ban on most abortions.

I got pulled over, and the officer said, ‘Okay, well you are in an HOV lane.’ and I said, ‘Yes,” Bottone said. “ And he said, 'Great, where's your, is there somebody else in the car?' And looking around, I said, 'Well, yes, there is.' And he said, ‘Well, where’ as he's peeking in the, in the car and I pointed in my stomach. I was like, we're right here. And, he said, ‘Well, it's two bodies outside of the body. So that doesn't count.’"

The state prohibits abortions after a heartbeat is detected - generally after six weeks.

"I was kind of in shock. I was like, well, in light of everything that's happened, and I'm not trying to make a huge political stance here, but do you understand that this isn't a baby? He kind of just brushed me off and asked me to go to the other officer to get my citation,” she said.

She is appealing the citation.