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Woman Caught In Passenger Lane Told Texas Police Her Unborn Child Counts As A Passenger

Charisa Bossinakis

| Last updated 

Woman Caught In Passenger Lane Told Texas Police Her Unborn Child Counts As A Passenger

A Texas woman is currently fighting a ticket claiming that her unborn child counts as a second passenger.

The Dallas Morning News reports that Brandy Bottone, who is 34 weeks pregnant, was driving down US Highway 75 South and headed to the Interstate 635 West interchange to pick up her son from school.

Bottone was using a high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane, which is only allowed for two or more people, when police pulled her over.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

However, due to the recent overturning of Roe V Wade, the mother claimed to officials that her unborn child counts as a second passenger.

"He starts peeking around. He's like, 'Is it just you?' And I said, 'No there's two of us?'” Bottone said. 

As the cop asked her where the second passenger was, Bottone motioned to her stomach and told him, 'right here'.

However, the police officer contested: “Oh, no. It’s got to be two people outside of the body.”

While Texas' penal code deems an unborn child as a person, its transportation code doesn’t.

Bottone said: “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. 'So I don’t know why you’re not seeing that'."

But the officer insisted it had to be two passengers outside the body.

As a result, Bottone received a $275 (AUD $401 or £228) fine, while the officer told her it would probably get dropped if she challenged it.

Credit: NBCDFW
Credit: NBCDFW

“I know this may fall on deaf ears, but as a woman, this was shocking,” she said.

Bottone also stated she would continue to fight the ticket.

Dallas appellate lawyer Chad Ruback told NBCDFW that judges might look at this situation ‘differently’ and have their own definition of two passengers in a vehicle.

"Different judges might treat this differently. This is unchartered territory we're in now,” he said.

"There is no Texas statute that says what to do in this situation. The Texas Transportation Code has not been amended recently to address this particular situation. Who knows? Maybe the legislature will in the next session."

Following the Supreme Court’s decision, Texas was one of the first states to criminalise abortion through ‘trigger laws’, which were enforced effective immediately. 

However, a Texas judge temporarily blocked the ban on prohibiting abortions within six weeks of pregnancy, according to The Texas Tribune.

Judge Christine Weems said the block ‘is repealed and may not be enforced consistent with the due process guaranteed by the Texas constitution’.

Featured Image Credit: NBCDFW / Alamy.

Topics: News, US News, Politics, Crime

Charisa Bossinakis
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