Penalty for pregnant driver in Texas sparks controversy

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Last month a pregnant woman in Texas was fined for traveling alone in a lane reserved for cars with at least two passengers (ie one for invitees). car pooling, shared cars). The woman, Brandi Bottone, defended herself by arguing that her 34-week-old fetus should be considered a person under state law and does not deserve to be fined for it. Botton’s claim refers to a provision in the Texas Penal Code that requires fetuses to be treated as persons.

Texas is a Republican-led state that has historically had a more conservative edge, and has always had the most restrictive laws on abortion. Among these is precisely the Penal Code, which recognizes the status of individuals to the fetus. “Roe v Wade”. However, at the end of June, the punishment Overturned The Supreme Court and individual states have begun to legislate autonomously on the matter — or use laws they’ve previously approved — without restraint and with some contradictory results, such as the Botton case.

Botton is 32, has three children and a fourth who is due in August. Stopped by Dallas Local Police in a multi-passenger car lane, she tried to convince the police officer that the fetus in her stomach was a second person, but was still fined $275. Botton appealed the legality of the fine, and a court hearing on his case is scheduled for July 20.

Botton told reporters that she did not contest being fined for taking a political stance on abortion, but that she thought she had the right to drive on the road, as she had done during her three previous pregnancies. “In light of everything that’s happened, I’m not trying to make a big political issue out of it, but it’s clear that this is a child,” he commented in a ‘Interview with CNN.

The The New York Times Explained The Texas penal code recognizes the status of a fetus at “every stage of pregnancy”: for example, if a pregnant woman is killed, the victims are counted as two rather than one. However, this provision is limited to the Penal Code and a law has never been passed (so-called Fetal Personhood Act) which establishes the status of the person to the fetus at all levels, and therefore beyond cases governed by the Criminal Code. This is the case with the Highway Code, which does not consider fetuses as passengers, and for this reason, according to experts, Photon is unlikely to be correct.

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In the United States, in the past decade, three states have legalized abortion at all stages: Alabama, Georgia, and Arizona, in 2018, 2019, and 2021, respectively. “Roe v. Wade, which recognized a federal right to abortion, was effectively blocked by the courts before these laws took effect, but now it’s more urgent to overhaul the delicate definition of what constitutes a person.

The recognition of a person’s status as a fetus from the first weeks of pregnancy is a favorite topic for those who deny the right to abortion, because in fact it allows the termination of a pregnancy on the same level as a murder. But it also has many implications in other areas of everyday life that have nothing to do with abortion.

For example, the designation of a fetus as a person from the first weeks of pregnancy can have a significant impact on issues such as IVF (i.e., the union of egg and sperm in the laboratory) or the right to abortion. Rape.. But not only that: it is necessary to redefine the system of counting the population, the system of taxation or the allocation of economic support to families.

Some organizations that protect abortion rights in the United States have commented on Bodon’s case, “Roe v. Wade”. Texas Right to Life, Texas’ largest anti-abortion organization, said it sided with Photon and that all fetuses should be “recognized as Texans in every part of society.”

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