July 12, 2022 – A pregnant woman has turned Texas‘ strict anti-abortion law on its head after being pulled over for driving alone in the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane, meant for cars carrying at least two people. She told the police who stopped her in Dallas that she had a passenger in the car: her fetus. Here’s her account of the incident:
“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.’
“He waved me on to the next cop who gave me a citation and said, ‘If you fight it, it will most likely get dropped.’
“But they still gave me a ticket. So my $215 ticket was written to cause inconvenience?
“This has my blood boiling. How could this be fair? According to the new law, this is a life.
“I know this may fall on deaf ears, but as a woman, this was shocking.”
Amy O’Donnell, spokesperson for the anti-abortion group Texas Alliance for Life, said that while the Texas penal does recognize an unborn child as a person, the Texas Transportation Code does not:
“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.”
The expectant mother plans to fight the charge later this month in court.
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