Can a Fetus Commute? How the New Abortion Laws in Texas Are Causing a Fight in the HOV Lane
If you are pregnant when you are commuting in the larger cities in Texas, is the child you are carrying considered a passenger? Some women in Texas are saying yes and fighting tickets they have been issued.
According to the Texas Tribune, Brandy Bottone is a pregnant woman in the Dallas area and she was pulled over for driving alone in the HOV lane, but she said according to the new abortion laws in Texas, her child should be considered a passenger too.
“I just felt that there were two of us in [the car] and I was wrongly getting ticketed,” said Bottone to The Dallas Morning News back in July.
She argued that under the new Texas abortion laws which went into effect after the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade and declared a fetus is considered a living human, she argued it should be true in the HOV lane as well.
“I’m not trying to make a political stance here,” said Bottone, “but in light of everything that is happening, this is a baby.”
Legal experts warn that this traffic incident is just a portion of what it means to treat a fetus as a person.
Debates are ramping up about "fetal personhood" and abortion opponents are divided on whether a fetal personhood law needs to be pursued.
“Historically, conversations about fetal personhood have been about introducing increasingly harsh penalties for people who either perform abortions or ‘aid and abet’ abortions,” said Mary Ziegler, a legal historian focusing on abortion at the University of California Davis School of Law. “That isn’t the only way you can think about personhood.”
This is an example of what happens when a right is taken away by overturning a precedent that has been in place for over 50 years, expect more battles like this to happen in the future.