Is a pregnant woman who is driving alone allowed to use the HOV lane?
Following the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade, a pregnant woman in Texas — a state with one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country — plans to take that question to court.
The Dallas Morning News reports that Brandy Bottone, who was 34 weeks pregnant at the time, was pulled over in the HOV lane just outside of Dallas. She was alone and on her way to pick up her son.
When asked by police if there was anyone else in the car, Bottone said she pointed to her stomach.
“He said, ‘Oh, no. It’s got to be two people outside of the body,” Bottone told the Dallas Morning News.
When she cited the Supreme Court’s June 24 decision overturning Roe v. Wade, Bottone said she wasn’t trying to take a stand. She just wanted out of the ticket.
“One law is saying that this is a baby and now he’s telling me this baby that’s jabbing my ribs is not a baby. Why can’t it all make sense?” Bottone told WFAA.
Although police issued her the $215 ticket, Bottone claims that she was told that she would likely get it thrown out if she contested it.
“But they still gave me a ticket. So my $215 ticket was written to cause inconvenience?” Bottone told the Dallas Morning News
Bottone told WFAA she is taking a neutral stance politically and that she’s been hearing from people on both sides of the abortion debate.
“If there’s a pro-woman category, that’s my stance,” she said.
The sheriff’s department that conducted the traffic stop would not comment to Dallas Morning News on Bottone’s argument, nor would Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas.
A spokesperson for the anti-abortion group Texas Alliance for Life told the paper that, “While the penal code in Texas recognizes an unborn child as a person in our state, the Texas Transportation Code does not specify the same.” She indicated that someone has to be occupying another seat for it to count as a person.
WFAA reports that the Texas Department of Transportation website simply says “A vehicle occupied by two or more people.”