AUSTIN, Texas (WTVO) — A new bill introduced by a Texas lawmaker would legally make a fetus a second passenger in high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes.

State Rep. Briscoe Cain (R) introduced House Bill 521, which states, “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.”

This comes after a pregnant woman, Brandy Bottone, was twice cited for driving alone in the carpool lane.

In June, she was pulled over in Dallas. When the police officer asked who else was in the car, “I pointed to my stomach and said, ‘My baby girl is right here. She is a person,’” Bettone said.

Bottone claimed that Texas’ anti-abortion laws meant her fetus should count as a person for HOV reasons.

She was given a $215 citation.

The Dallas County District Attorney’s office decided to dismiss Bottone’s first ticket, agreeing that legally the situation is unclear. 

Bottone did have a baby girl named Charlotte.

When asked about her response to news of the proposed legislation, Bottone told Dallas Morning News, “Wow! This is a wonderful step forward for the women of Texas. Pregnancy is stressful, but your anxiety is through the roof without the hassle of being stopped and questioned if another life is on board is a step in the right direction. Baby Charlotte and I are rooting that the bill gets passed and other states follow suit.”

The law will be considered when the legislature returns to session on January 10th. If approved, it would go into effect on September 1st, 2023.