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LANE VIOLATION: VA GOP proposal wants pregnant women to do this

LANE VIOLATION: VA GOP proposal wants pregnant women to do this

LANE VIOLATION: VA GOP proposal wants pregnant women to do this

Republicans have suggested that registering guns or vaccination records is a step in the government “targeting” conservatives — but they don’t seem to feel concerned about how registering reproduction might affect women.

This disregard is stunningly displayed in a piece of legislation proposed by Virginia Delegate Nick Freitas, in which he suggests that pregnant people can use the coveted HOV highway lanes if they report their pregnancies to the Department of Transportation (DOT).

High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes, intended for vehicles transporting multiple people, would be open to pregnant people if this legislation prevailed.

However, to gain access and avoid the risk of being ticketed for improper use of the lane, the pregnancy would have to be certified with the DOT, and Freitas further proposes connecting this to the state’s EZ PASS system for tolls.

The proposal comes as the nation is still rocked by last summer’s Supreme Court ruling that declared the right to medical privacy, on which abortion access rests, is not a Constitutional right, and after months of Republicans scurrying to pass laws that curtail abortion access state by state.

Some states have passed laws criminalizing abortion even at the earliest stages, and there have even been proposals floated to control pregnant women’s freedom to leave their state.

In response, along with opposing anti-choice legislation and banding together to vote out extremists who pass it, women have moved toward increasing caution with their information, even deleting period-tracking apps and declining to give certain information (specifically, dates of menstrual periods) to their doctors.

Freitas’ legislation has struck some as a con to trick women into handing over that information to the state — potentially opening themselves up to questioning if the pregnancy, for whatever reason, doesn’t produce a baby in the expected time frame. From the Legiscan summary of the bill:

“Provides that a pregnant woman shall be considered two people for the purposes of determining occupancy in HOV and HOT 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. The bill requires 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.”

It also edges close to ‘personhood’ arguments, where anti-choicers claim that a fetus is entitled to all the same protections of the law as a born person.

Freitas is, in fact, a Republican and an anti-choice one, whose other sponsored legislation includes a “born alive protection” bill — these are misleading pieces of legislation that falsely imply doctors are killing born infants under the banner of abortion, a fiction that right-wing extremists invented to vilify choice.

Stephanie Bazzle
Steph Bazzle is a news writer who covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph. Sign up for all of her stories to be delivered to your inbox here:

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