Virginia House of Delegates Republican member wants pregnant women to be considered two persons for carpool lanes.
Nicholas J. Freitas, a delegate, introduced House Bill 1894 “High-occupancy Vehicle Lanes; Pregnant Women”, which states that “pregnant women shall be considered two persons for the purposes of determining occupancy at HOV and HOT lanes.”
If pregnant women have “proof of their pregnancy” or have certified that they are, high-occupancy lanes and toll lanes will be available to them.
To link the information to a device for collecting tolls, the bill would require that the state create a process where a woman “certify that she’s pregnant”. Virginians use an electronic transponder system called E-ZPass.
The bill, which also includes the term “pregnant persons” once, requires pregnant women who are stopped for driving in an HOV/HOT lane to show proof of their pregnancy to police officers.
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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.
All information collected will be “purged” one year after the certification of pregnancy.
The state must delete any data about the mother within 24 hours of a woman notifying it to the Department of Transportation.
Similar legislation was also introduced in other states.
Texas Bill 521 was introduced in November 2022. It sought to allow pregnant women to drive alone in high-occupancy lanes.
However, Virginia’s Senate is controlled by Democrats. This makes it unlikely that legislation will be passed.
According to NBC News abortion activists consider such proposals attempts to advance “personhood legislations that seek to protect unborn rights through unconventional avenues.”