Virginia Republican wants unborn babies to count as passengers for carpooling

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A Republican member of the Virginia House of Delegates wants the state to consider pregnant women as two people, for the purposes of using carpool lanes.

Delegate Nicholas J. Freitas introduced House Bill 1894, “High-occupancy vehicle lanes; pregnant women” which provides that “pregnant woman shall be considered two people for the purposes of determining occupancy in HOV and HOT lanes.”

High-occupancy vehicle lanes and high-occupancy toll lanes would be available for use by pregnant women if they have “proof of pregnancy” or have certified their pregnancy with the Department of Transportation if they wish to travel in a lane monitored by a photo-enforcement system.

The bill would require the state to create a process in which a woman can “certify that she is pregnant” in order to link the information to a toll collection device. Virginians use a system called E-ZPass for electronic transponders.

The bill, which includes the term “pregnant person” once, requires pregnant women to provide proof of pregnancy to a police officer if they are pulled over for the possible infraction of driving in an HOV or HOT lane despite being ineligible to do so.

In terms of data collection, the bill states that the data shall not be open to the public, nor shall it be sold or used for sales/marketing/solicitation.

Any information collected would be “purged one year after certification of pregnancy is made.”

Upon a woman notifying the Department of Transportation that she is no longer pregnant, the state would be required to delete the data related to the mother within 24 hours.

Similar legislation has been introduced in other states as well.

Texas Bill 521 was tabled in November 2022 and sought to make high-occupancy lanes free for pregnant women to drive in while alone.

Democrats in Virginia control the state Senate, however, which means it is unlikely that the legislation would be signed into law.

According to NBC News, abortion activists see such proposals as attempts to advance “personhood laws that seek to protect the rights of the unborn through unconventional avenues.”

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Source
Las Vegas News Magazine

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