On Friday, the Dallas Morning News reported that a pregnant woman in Plano, Brandy Bottone, told a police officer who pulled her over in the carpool lane that in light of the Roe v. Wade rescission, her fetus counted as a passenger.
"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," she told the paper. “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.’"
According to the report, the officer was not impressed, saying, "I don't want to deal with this." Bottone was issued a $215 citation, but another officer told her, "If you fight it, it will most likely get dropped."
"This was a Dallas County Sheriff Department’s operation. Representative Raul Reyna told me that it’s not technically a checkpoint because not every driver is stopped. The only vehicles that are stopped are ones where officers can visually see traveling with only one occupant. HOV rules require two passengers," said the report. "This particular stop took place where the HOV lane ends at U.S. 75 South near Midpark Road, Reyna said."
Dallas County is, ironically, where Henry Wade, the named defendant of Roe v. Wade, served as district attorney.
Texas is one of several states where abortion rights have been eliminated in the wake of the controversial Supreme Court decision. Abortions were nearly impossible to obtain in the state even before the decision, due to a law allowing third parties to sue anyone who obtains an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.
In 2021, far-right Texas state Rep. Briscoe Cain introduced a bill allowing pregnant people to drive in carpool lanes in an attempt to set a precedent for fetal personhood.