Virginia bill to recognize fetuses as passengers in carpool lanes

Virginia bill to recognize fetuses as passengers in carpool lanes

Reproductive rights advocates warn the bill is the latest attempt by anti-abortion Republicans to reduce abortion rights by pushing through “personality” laws

A Virginia bill would consider the fetus of a pregnant person a passenger in a car, allowing the vehicle to use the High-occupancy vehicle line on highways, according to NBC. News.
High occupancy lanes require drivers to have at least one passenger in their vehicles in order to use them.

Reproductive rights activists say the legislation amounts to a thinly veiled attempt by Republican lawmakers to further restrict abortion rights by promoting so-called personality laws that seek to protect the rights of the unborn through unconventional ways.
HB 1894, which a Republican legislator introduced earlier in the state General Assembly on Tuesday, “provides that a pregnant woman shall be considered two persons for purposes of determining occupancy” in high-occupancy vehicles and high-occupancy toll lanes on highways. state highways.

The legislation would require pregnant people to show “proof” of pregnancy, which can be obtained by having “certified” their pregnancies with the state Department of Transportation. Under the bill, the certifications would then be “linked” to toll collection devices, typically E-Z Passes, on the vehicles.
The bill is the second of its kind ever proposed: Last year, Texas Republicans introduced a similar measure.

Texas HB 521 would also have allowed a solo pregnant driver to use high-occupancy lanes, proposing that the unborn child being transported was equivalent to a person deserving of full human rights.
Despite the Virginia bill’s limited prospects for moving forward, reproductive rights advocates warned that even the concept of such a personality bill could, at some point, lead to “absurd” new regulations and laws on any thing that has occupancy rules.

Melissa Galbraith
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