Texas state lawmakers are working to make sure babies in the womb are treated as valuable human beings in every aspect of the law – including traffic codes.
The Daily Wire reports a new bill by state Rep. Briscoe Cain, R-Deer Park, would allow pregnant mothers to use the high occupancy vehicle lane (HOV) when only she and her unborn baby are in the vehicle.
“An operator of a motor vehicle who is pregnant is entitled to use any high occupancy vehicle lane in this state regardless of whether the vehicle is occupied by a passenger other than the operator’s unborn child,” House Bill 521 states.
Cain’s bill will be considered during the 2023 legislative session, which begins Jan. 10. Pro-life lawmakers hold a majority in the Texas Legislature, and Gov. Greg Abbott is pro-life.
Earlier this year, Houston mother Brandy Bottone pointed out the legal inconsistencies regarding unborn babies after she received a traffic citation for using the HOV lane while pregnant.
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Police said she was the only person in the vehicle while traveling in the HOV lane on U.S. Highway 75 in June, and the lane is reserved for vehicles with at least two passengers.
“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,” Bottone told the Dallas Morning News.
She fought the ticket, and local officials later dismissed the citation, The Houston Chronicle reports.
Texas became the first state in nearly 50 years to protect unborn babies by banning most abortions under its state heartbeat law in September 2021. Then, in June, after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, a state law that prohibits all elective abortions went into effect.
Earlier this month, Michael New, Ph.D. an assistant professor of practice at The Catholic University of America and associate scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute, estimates between 5,000 and 10,000 unborn babies already have been spared from abortion as a result of the Texas laws.
The overturning of Roe was a huge victory for human rights because it allowed states to begin protecting unborn babies from abortion again. Currently, 14 states are enforcing pro-life laws that prohibit or strictly limit the killing of unborn babies in abortions, and others are fighting in court to do the same. New research estimates these laws have saved as many as 10,000 unborn babies’ lives since June.