“I said, ‘Oh, there are two of us,'” Bottone said. “And he said, ‘Where?'”
Bottone, who was 34 weeks pregnant at the time, pointed to her belly. Though she said her “baby girl is here,” Bottone said one of the officers she met on June 29 told her it had to be “two bodies outside the body.” While the state criminal code recognizes a fetus as a person, the Texas Transportation Code does not.
“An officer kind of waved me off when I said this is a live child, according to everything going on with the overthrow of Roe v. Wade† “So I don’t know why you don’t see that,” I said,” she explained to the Dallas Morning News, the first to report the story.
Bottone was given a $215 ticket for driving alone in the lane with two or more occupants — a quote she told local media she would be challenging in court this month.
“I will fight it,” Bottone, 32, of Plano, Tex., told The Post.
While the Texas Department of Transportation has not indicated whether it is considering changing the transportation code, Bottone’s case is one that could take the state into “uncharted territory” following the June 24 ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health OrganizationChad Ruback, a Dallas-based professional attorney, told The Washington Post.
“I find her argument creative, but I don’t believe that based on the current version of the Texas Transportation Code, her argument would likely pass an appeals court,” he said. “That said, it’s entirely possible she could find a judge in court who would reward her for her creativity.”
Ruback added, “This is a very unique situation in US case law.”
Representatives from the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department and Texas Department of Transportation did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The news comes as all corners of the country are dealing with the fallout from the Supreme Court ruling more than two weeks ago. President Biden delivered an emotional speech Friday announcing a series of steps aimed at strengthening abortion rights in response to growing demands from activists for bolder and more forceful action. Biden’s signing of an executive order to improve access to reproductive health care was a move widely welcomed by abortion activists, many saying it would likely do little for women in states where abortion is banned. Recognizing the limits of his executive powers, the president said: dobbs verdict was “the appalling, extreme and, I think, so totally wrong decision of the Supreme Court.”
“What we are witnessing was not a constitutional verdict,” Biden said. “It was an exercise in raw political power.”
Biden Announces Actions Over Abortion Rights in Fiery Speech
Texas is one of 13 states that had “trigger bans” designed to go into effect once roe was brought down, banning abortion within 30 days of the verdict.
This Texas teen wanted an abortion. She now has twins.
It’s Texas’s Nearly Age-Old Abortion Ban That Was Declared Unconstitutional In Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. After the destruction of the Supreme Court roe on June 24 in a 5-4 decision, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) advised prosecutors could now uphold the 1925 law, which he described on Twitter as “100% good law.” Abortion rights groups and clinics filed a lawsuit, arguing that it should be interpreted as revoked and unenforceable.
A judge in Harris County, Tex., has issued a temporary injunction last month to allow clinics to offer abortions for at least two weeks without criminal charges. Judge Christine Weems (D) ruled that a pre-roe The ban, enforced by Paxton and the prosecutors, would “inevitably and irreparably curb the provision of abortions in the crucial final weeks when safer abortion care remains available and legal in Texas.”
But the Texas Supreme Court last week granted an “emergency motion for temporary relief” from Weems’ ruling, after Paxton asked for the ban.
Texas Supreme Court blocks order allowing abortions to resume
Five days after the dobbs verdict, Bottone said she was in a rush to pick up her 6-year-old son and decided to drive her GMC Yukon to the HOV track because she “couldn’t be a minute late”.
While trying to claim the fetus was her second passenger, Bottone told The Post that the sheriff’s deputy was not open to debate.
“I thought it was weird and said, ‘With everything that’s going on, especially in Texas, this counts as a baby,'” she said. “He waved me through a little and said, ‘This officer will take care of you.'”
Bottone said that although one of the deputies told her the ticket would likely fall if she fought it, she is angry that the citation was issued in the first place.
“I thought it was a waste of my time. It just rubbed me wrong,” she said. “I don’t think it was right.”
Bottone emphasized that while she believes women should have a choice about what they do with their bodies, “that doesn’t mean I’m pro-choice.” She noted that she also drove the HOV track when she was pregnant with her first child, her 6-year-old son.
Ruback told The Post he doesn’t know whether Texas or other states would consider such a change to their transportation codes.
“It’s entirely possible that Brandy could petition representatives in the legislature to make that change, but I haven’t heard anything about it if it happens,” said Ruback, who is not involved in her case. “My impression is that I think she would be happy if she got out of her traffic fine. But again, these are unusual times we live in, that’s for sure.”
Bottone told The Post that she hoped Texas laws would be consistent about how the measures recognize unborn children.
“The laws don’t speak the same language, and frankly it was all quite confusing,” she said.
She is due to appear in court on July 20, which is just two weeks before her daughter’s due date on August 3.
“It wasn’t because of Roe v. Wade that I jumped into the HOV track,” she said. “I just saw it as me and another person.”
Matt Viser, Caroline Kitchener and Adela Suliman contributed to this report.