Brandy Bottone is a pregnant woman from Plano, Texas who was recently stopped by a police officer for driving in the carpool lane even though it appeared she had no other passengers riding with her.
Bottone maintains that she did indeed have a second passenger with her: The child she’s carrying, and she insists that since the U.S. Supreme Court recently overturned Roe v. Wade and life begins at conception, she shouldn’t have to pay the fine the cop gave her, according to the Dallas Morning News.
How did all of this come about? Bottone explained:
“I was driving to pick up my son. I knew I couldn’t be a minute late, so I took the HOV [high-occupancy vehicle] lane. As I exited the HOV, there was a checkpoint at the end of the exit. I slammed on my brakes, and I was pulled over by police. An officer peeked in and asked, ‘Is there anybody else in the car?’ I said, ‘Well, yes.’ He asked, ‘Where?’ I pointed to my stomach and said, ‘My baby girl is right here. She is a person.’ He said, ‘Oh, no. It’s got to be two people outside of the body.’”
The officer then issued Bottone a citation which includes a fine of $215, but he also told her, “If you fight it, it will most likely get dropped.”
Deputy Raul Reyna, who serves as Public Information Officer for the Media and Community Relations Unit of the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department told the Morning News that the traffic stop was routine and Bottone was pulled over because it was clear only one person was in the vehicle.
Just a year ago, it should be noted, Texas state Rep. Briscoe Cain (R) introduced legislation that would have allowed pregnant women in the Lone Star State to drive in the carpool lane. Though the bill didn’t pass, it was part of a larger effort by conservatives in the state to set a precedent for fetal personhood, which remains a controversial topic, even in deeply red Texas.
With Roe no longer in effect, we can expect many more incidents such as the one Brandy Bottone had to face. It remains to be seen just how far states such as Texas are willing to take their backwards thinking, especially when it may wind up costing them lots of money in the long run.
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