Pregnant Woman Fights HOV Ticket: “This Is A Baby”

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade is already creating interesting legal challenges. Right now, a pregnant Texas woman is fighting a ticket for driving in an HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lane. She argues that the reversal of Roe v. Wade means her unborn child counts as a passenger. Brandy Bottone was driving in the carpool lane when she came to a checkpoint. The officer asked if there was anyone else in the car. She said, yes, her unborn baby. The officer told her the fetus didn’t count, and sent her to another officer to receive a ticket. Bottone says the second office also brushed her off.

“I was kind of in shock. I was like, ‘Well, in light of everything that’s happened, and I’m not trying to make a huge political stance here, but do you understand that this is a baby?’ He kind of just brushed me off. Not only did I get dismissed, didn’t have a conversation about it, but I also now just wasted my time. I don’t have to waste my time on July 20th until I have another ticket that I feel like I should not have gotten.”

Texas, like many states with conservative leadership, has pushed to restrict abortion and even recently defined a fetus or unborn baby as a “person” in its penal code. The Texas DOT’s online description of the HOV rule isn’t entirely clear. It reads simply “a vehicle occupied by two or more people.” Even the second officer admitted she could fight it.

Our question of the night: should the fine be dropped?

This episode’s panel features:
WCCB TV’s Morgan Fogarty
WCCB News @ Ten anchor Drew Bollea
WCCB News Edge contributor Ashley Anderson