Pregnant US woman who received ticket says fetus counts as second passenger in carpool lane – National |

When police pulled over a pregnant Texas woman for driving alone in the carpool lane, she told the officer her unborn baby should count as a second passenger, citing the recent overturn of Roe v. Wade.

Brandy Buttone, 32, was stopped at a Central Expressway sheriff’s checkpoint on June 29, NBC-Dallas Fort Worth reported.

The checkpoint targeted drivers who broke a law that requires at least one passenger to be in the car when using the freeway’s carpool lane, also called a high-occupancy vehicle, or HOV, lane.

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When the police stopped her, Bottone was 34 weeks pregnant.

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According to NBC, when the officer asked Bottone where the second passenger was, she pointed to her stomach and said, “Right here.”

“I pointed to my stomach and said, ‘My baby is right here. She’s a person,'” Bottone said. The morning news from Dallas.

Bottone told the officer that because of the Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, her fetus was now recognized in the US as a living person.

The officer reportedly disagreed, telling Bottone that the HOV lane rule required “two people out of body” to be in the car.

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Although the Texas penal code recognizes a fetus as a person, the state’s transportation code does not.

Bottone, a resident of Plano, Texas, then walked past another officer who gave him a US$215 (about 280 Canadian dollars) fine. The officer reportedly told Bottone that the citation would most likely be withdrawn if she fights in court.

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Although Bottone plans to fight the ticket, she told the Dallas Morning News that this frustrated her, as she believed the ticket was written to “inconvenience.”

“This has my blood boiling. How could this be fair? Under the new law, this is one life,” she told the outlet. “I know this may fall on deaf ears, but as a woman, it was shocking.”

The sheriff’s department has not publicly commented on Bottone’s claim that her unborn child qualifies as a passenger in a vehicle.

Bottone’s court date is July 20, around the same time as her baby’s due date. The US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was announced on June 24.

The ruling overturned the landmark decision Roe v. Wade, who has guaranteed abortion rights for more than 50 years in the US.

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In a 5-4 decision, the high court upheld a Mississippi law that would ban most abortions after the 15th week, while striking down legal precedent Roe v. Wade established in 1973 and the 1992 decision that upheld it, Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

The question of whether abortions are legal will now be left to individual states, potentially leading to widespread differences in access across the US.

— Archived by Sean Boynton of Global News

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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