Brandy Bottone of Plano, Texas is 34 weeks pregnant. According to Texas officials, the fetus she's carrying is a human being. Bottone says she should be allowed to drive her car in an HOV lane because the fetus is a human passenger. She took her theory to the test on June 29 when she drove on U.S. Highway 75's HOV lane and got stopped at a checkpoint. From The Dallas Morning News:
"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.'
"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,' I said.
"He was like, 'I don't want to deal with this.' He said, 'Ma'am, it means two persons outside of the body.'
The officer issued her a citation for $215, but told her if she fought the ticket, it would probably get dropped.
A reporter for the paper asked Amy O'Donnell, spokeswoman for an anti-abortion group called Texas Alliance for Life, what she thought of Bottone's argument.
O'Donnell said, "While the penal code in Texas recognizes an unborn child as a person in our state, the Texas Transportation Code does not specify the same. And a child residing in a mother's womb is not taking up an extra seat. And with only one occupant taking up a seat, the car did not meet the criteria needed to drive in that lane."
Bottone says she will fight the ticket.