Back in June, Brandy Bottone, a pregnant woman living in Texas was fined for driving in the HOV lane. Since HOV lanes are designated for 2 or more passengers. She was pulled over for driving “alone” and when officers asked about a passenger she pointed at her stomach. Her rationale is that at 34 weeks pregnant, under Texas’ abortion laws, her fetus should count as another person.
Her argument rested on the fact that Texas stopped performing abortions almost immediately after Roe v Wade was overturned by SCOTUS. According to the state’s 6-week abortion ban, a fetus is considered a person when determining whether a crime is committed. While Bottone obviously wasn’t looking to terminate her pregnancy, due to these laws she points out “If a fetus is considered a life before birth, then why doesn’t that count as a second passenger?”
A judge agreed and dismissed the case, she did not have to pay the $215 fine, for her first ticket. Bottone was pulled over again by police in July for once again driving in the HOV lane. “It was about a month after the first ticket that she was pulled over and ticketed again,” Claire Crouch, a spokesperson from the Dallas District Attorney’s office.
The ticket was issued only a few days before she gave birth to a baby girl. On August 6th she posted to Instagram announcing “My second passenger has arrived! We are so in love and will be spending all our time loving on baby girl.”
Hopefully, her first ticket set enough past precedence to get her out of the 2nd ticket. Either way, we wish the new mother all the best and will keep updated on this story as it develops.