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Pregnant Texas woman says unborn baby should count as automotive passenger after receiving HOV ticket


Emilija Manevska | Moment | Getty Images

A pregnant Texas woman said her unborn baby should count as a second passenger in her vehicle after she received a ticket, citing Texas’ penal code within the wake of Roe v. Wade’s being overturned.

Brandy Bottone, 32, of Plano, was pulled over June 29 after she drove in an HOV lane, or high-occupancy vehicle land, NBC-Dallas Fort Value reported. Bottone was stopped by the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, which was in search of drivers violating the HOV lane rules.

The HOV lane requires drivers to have no less than one passenger of their cars once they use the lane.

When a sheriff’s deputy told Bottone concerning the rule, she said she did, in reality, have a second occupant in her automotive — her unborn baby.

“I pointed to my stomach and said, ‘My baby girl is correct here. She is an individual,'” Bottone told The Dallas Morning News, which first reported the story.

The officer responded that the rule applies to “two people outside of the body.”

Bottone, who was 34 weeks pregnant on the time, told the officers that with the overturning of Roe v. Wade, her unborn child now was recognized as a living person. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24.

‘After which I said, ‘Well [I’m] not attempting to throw a political mix here, but with every part happening, this counts as a baby,'” Bottone told NBC-Dallas-Fort Value.

Bottone told The Morning News that the officer told her he didn’t “wish to take care of this” and insisted that the law for HOV lanes required there to be “two individuals outside of the body.”

Although the penal code in Texas recognizes a fetus as an individual, it appears there is no language within the state Transportation Department’s code that recognizes a fetus as an individual or a passenger.

Representatives for sheriff’s department and the state Transportation Department didn’t immediately reply to requests for comment.

Deputies told Bottone that if she fought the ticket, it will likely be dismissed. She plans to fight the $215 ticket with the argument that her in-utero baby should count as one other occupant of her vehicle.

“This has my blood boiling. How could this be fair? In accordance with the brand new law, this can be a life,” Bottone told The Morning News. “I do know this will fall on deaf ears, but as a girl, this was shocking.”

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