A pregnant mom from Plano, Texas is fighting a traffic ticket by pointing to the state's abortion laws. After Brandy Bottone was stopped at a sheriff's checkpoint in June 2022 as she drove on the interstate highway, she received a traffic violation for driving in a lane designated for high-occupancy vehicles, also known as HOV or carpool lanes.

By law, drivers must have at least one passenger in the car to use the HOV lane. Bottone told NBC DFW, an NBC affiliate in the Dallas-Forth Worth area, that when she was stopped, the officer began to search her car for another passenger. 

Related: After Roe, a pediatrician shares how the health of America’s teens are at risk 

"He starts peeking around. He's like, 'Is it just you?' And I said, 'No there's two of us?'” Bottone said. “And he said, 'Well where's the other person.' And I went, 'right here,'” pointing to her stomach. Bottone was 34 weeks pregnant at the time of the incident.

When the officer told her that pregnancy doesn't qualify as a passenger, Bottone pointed to Texas's abortion laws.

"Well [I'm] not trying to throw a political mix here, but with everything going on [with Roe v. Wade], this counts as a baby,’” she told the officer.

The Texas penal code defines “individual” as a “human being who is alive, including an unborn child at every stage of gestation from fertilization until birth," but the Texas Transportation Code does not. Bottone received a $275 fine, which she plans to fight in court later this month.

Related: The majority of women who seek abortions are already mothers 

After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, several state laws had "trigger laws" banning or significantly restricting abortion that immediately went into effect. Texas has some of the most restrictive abortions laws in the country which were in place even before Roe was abolished. Known as the Texas Heartbeat Act, not only does the state law ban abortion after fetal cardiac activity can be detected, which can be as early as six weeks into the pregnancy, but it allows anyone in the U.S. to sue abortion providers and individuals who helped someone receive an unlawful abortion. It is important to note that many pregnant women don't know they are pregnant until after six weeks.

Immediately following the Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists condemned the decision. Protests have been organized around the country. And on July 8, President Biden signed an executive order aimed at protecting access to abortion medication and emergency contraception, patient privacy, and extended security measures safeguarding those seeking abortions and those in a position to provide them.

Related: What President Biden’s executive order for abortion rights really means

Bottone told the Dallas Morning News that "she doesn’t believe the state should have it both ways. If a fetus is considered a life before birth, then why doesn’t that count as a second passenger?"

“This has my blood boiling. How could this be fair? According to the new law, this is a life," Bottone told the Dallas Morning News. "I know this may fall on deaf ears, but as a woman, this was shocking.”