“My Baby Girl Is Right Here, She Is A Person”: Pregnant Woman Pulled Over in Texas For Driving in HOV Lane

Brandy Bottone, of Plano, Texas, was cruising on U.S. Highway 75 South in the high-occupancy vehicle lane until she was suddenly pulled over by a police officer; to drive in an HOV lane, there needs to be more than one person in the vehicle, he said.

Bottone said she didn’t see the problem—she was 34 weeks pregnant. When the officer asked where the other car passenger was, she pointed to her stomach: “My baby girl is right here. She is a person.” The officer, as Bottone recalled, said that both people needed to be “outside of the body.”

Bottone astutely pointed out the double standard with current Texas laws: is her unborn child considered a living person or not? She told the Dallas Morning News: “One officer kind of brushed me off when I mentioned this is a living child, according to everything that’s going on with the overturning of Roe v. Wade.” 

“I don’t know why you’re not seeing that,” she told the officer. Her explanation didn’t fly with the officer, who gave her a $215 ticket.

The incident falls right on the heels of the Supreme Court’s controversial overturning of Roe v. Wade last month. In Texas, all abortions are illegal. The state’s lawmakers have plans to complicate reproductive care even further, as they aim to restrict abortion pills being mailed to women in the state of Texas as well as prohibit travel for out-of-state procedures. 

Even before the monumental Supreme Court decision, Texas had “the most restrictive abortion law in the nation,” according to the New York Times. In March, the Texas Supreme Court allowed for a ban on abortions after six weeks to go into effect.

Texas is one of nine states that has made abortions illegal, with few exceptions. Yesterday, Indiana and Louisiana cracked down on abortion laws, narrowing the methods for women to get the procedure.

“I will be fighting it,” Bottone told the Dallas Morning News. Her court date, and coincidentally, her due date, is on July 20.

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