This is beyond the pale

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One woman just managed to make the new abortion laws look incredibly silly. According to CNN, Brandy Bottone was driving along the highway in Dallas when she was pulled over. The officer stopped her for driving alone in the HOV lane. Bottone pointed out to the officer that she is pregnant and given the laws legislators want to pass declaring fetuses persons, she had a second person in her car, allowing her to drive in an HOV lane. The officer clarified that to adhere to HOV laws, there needed to be two people in the car, in their own bodies. That officer unwittingly spelled out what is wrong with the abortion laws some states are trying to pass.

Texas is one of the states that is pushing new abortion restrictions since SCOTUS overturned Roe v. Wade. In Texas, not only are they restricting abortion, but they want a fetus designated as a “person.” Understandably, then, Bottone decided to try it on the cop who stopped her, but he wasn’t having it. He gave her a ticket for riding alone in the HOV lane. That’s the problem with these ridiculous laws: They are open to interpretation. Weighing in on the issue, former prosecutor Loni Coombs, told CNN: “If we’re talking about a fetus being a person, there’s a lot of other rights that attach to be a person that will be litigated in courts, such as, does my fetus qualify for a tax deduction? Does my fetus qualify for citizenship? Does my fetus qualify for child support?” Those questions merely underscore the absurdity of such laws. Likely, this law will come back and bite Texas lawmakers in the ass. In Arizona, that has already happened.

U.S. District Judge Douglas Rayes struck down a similar law in Arizona. He ruled that calling a fetus a “person” from concept to birth is “too vague and could potentially result in injury.” Specifically, Judge Rayes wrote: “A law is unconstitutionally vague if its application is so unclear that people of ordinary intelligence cannot figure out in advance how to comply with it.” Again, this merely shows how poorly thought-out these laws are. Jill Filipovic, an opinions writer at CNN said that these laws only apply when they can be used against women, and the Court’s ruling supports this.

Holly Thomas, another opinions writer at CNN, pointed out that the designation of fetuses as persons can submit a woman who miscarries to criminal charges. For example, she spoke of an Alabama woman who was shot in the stomach and was indicted on a manslaughter charge that she “intentionally caused the death” of her fetus. Wait-it gets better. The woman who shot her in the stomach faced no charges whatsoever.


These laws are ludicrous. Bottone summed it up correctly: “That’s not really why I made the stance that I did. It just didn’t make sense to me why two different laws were not speaking the correct way.” The law should be the law, and if the law wants to declare a fetus a person, then Bottone and her fetus had every right to ride in the HOV lane.

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