Recognizing unborn babies as distinct and valuable human beings is an important goal of the pro-life movement.

This week, a pro-life lawmaker in Virginia introduced legislation to help achieve that goal by allowing pregnant mothers to use high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes in the state.

According to WUSA 9, the bill by state Del. Nicholas Freitas, R-Culpeper, recognizes that pregnancy involves two people, a mother and her unborn child, for the purposes of using traffic lanes designated for vehicles with more than one person.

Virginia House Bill 1894 “provides that a pregnant woman shall be considered two people for the purposes of determining occupancy in HOV and HOT [high occupancy toll] lanes, provided that she has proof of pregnancy or, if traveling in a lane monitored by a photo-enforcement system, has certified the pregnancy with the Department of Transportation.”

It also would require the department to “establish a process whereby a pregnant woman can certify that she is pregnant and have such information linked to her toll collection device, commonly known as an E-ZPass.”

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A Texas state lawmaker recently introduced a similar bill.

The issue of unborn babies and state traffic codes attracted national news attention last year after Houston, Texas mother Brandy Bottone questioned a traffic citation that she received for using the HOV lane while pregnant.

“One officer kind of brushed me off when I mentioned this is a living child, according to everything that’s going on with the overturning of Roe v. Wade. ‘So I don’t know why you’re not seeing that,’ I said,” Bottone told the Dallas Morning News at the time.

She fought the ticket, and local officials later dismissed the citation, The Houston Chronicle reports.

Texas became the first state in nearly 50 years to protect unborn babies by banning most abortions under its state heartbeat law in September 2021. Then, in June, after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, a state law that prohibits all elective abortions went into effect.

Because of the Dobbs v. Jackson ruling, states may protect unborn babies from abortion for the first time in nearly 50 years. Currently, 14 states are enforcing pro-life laws that ban or strictly limit abortions, and others are fighting in court to do the same.  Researchers estimate these laws have saved as many as 10,000 unborn babies in just the first few months.

Pro-life advocates expect more states will pass pro-life legislation this year, potentially including Virginia.

This week, Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a pro-life Republican, said he supports legislation to ban abortions after 15 weeks.

“When it comes to unborn children, we can come together. We can choose life, and choose to support mothers, fathers and families in difficult decisions,” Youngkin said. “It is clear Virginians want fewer abortions, not more.”

Pro-life legislation should easily pass the Republican-controlled Virginia Assembly, but it will have a more difficult time in the Democrat-run Senate after Democrats won a special election and secured another seat.

Polls consistently show strong public support for laws that protect unborn babies from abortion, especially after 15 weeks. One recent Harvard/Harris poll found that 72 percent of Americans, including 75 percent of women and 60 percent of rank-and-file Democrats, believe there should be limits on abortion at least by 15 weeks of pregnancy, if not sooner.

The post Virginia Bill Would Allow Unborn Babies to Count as Another Person for HOV Lanes appeared first on LifeNews.com.

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