A pregnant woman is fighting a traffic fine she received for driving in the carpool lane. Here’s how the recent Roe v. Wade overturning is playing into her case.
What Happened: A pregnant woman was fined $215 for driving alone in the carpool lane in Texas, but is now fighting the ticket.
Driver Brandy Bottone told the Dallas Morning News that she told police officers she should be allowed to drive in the carpool lane, as her unborn child should count as a passenger.
Bottone, who is 34 weeks pregnant, was driving to pick up her son and was given the fine at a checkpoint at the end of the carpool lane.
“An officer peeked in and asked, ‘Is there anybody else in the car?’” Bottone told the Dallas Morning News.
Bottone said she pointed at her stomach and said, “My baby girl is right here. She is a person.”
The officer said to be in the carpool lane, it had to be “two people outside of the body.” Bottone said the officer brushed off her claim and gave her a ticket.
The officers did tell Bottone she could see the fine dropped if she fought the ticket.
Why It’s Important: Bottone lives in Texas, one of several states that are working to make abortion illegal under the new ruling by the Supreme Court that overturned Roe v. Wade and will allow states to determine if abortion is legal.
“If a fetus is considered a life before birth, then why doesn’t that count as a second passenger?” Bottone told the newspaper. “This may fall on deaf ears, but as a woman, this was shocking.”
A representative for Texas Alliance for Life told the newspaper the penal code in the state recognizes an unborn child as a person, but the child is not taking up an extra seat in the car.
“With only one occupant taking up a seat, the car did not meet the criteria needed to drive in that lane,” Texas Alliance for Life spokeswoman Amy O’Donnell said.
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