If you’re pregnant, you can now use the High Occupancy Vehicle or HOV lanes in Georgia. The state’s restrictive abortion law now recognizes embryos and fetuses as persons with full rights.
The official Georgia Department of Public Safety requirements on HOV lane usage used to say “vehicles with two or more (living and not pre-infant) persons” are allowed to ride in them.
After a federal appeals court ruled on July 20, that Georgia’s restrictive abortion law can go into effect, it took DPS some time to remove the phrase “living and not pre-infant” from the requirements.
A spokesman for DPS confirmed that pregnant people can now use the lanes, and no documents are needed to prove the pregnancy.
In Georgia, embryos where the ultrasound can pick up electrical pulses, which usually happens around six weeks of pregnancy, are considered “natural persons,” according to the new abortion law.
Besides counting as an extra passenger, fetuses and embryos are also included in Georgia population counts, and the parents get a $3000 tax deduction for dependents on state taxes.
There’s a lawsuit challenging Georgia’s abortion restriction in state court, but because a superior court judge did not issue an injunction, the law is now in effect as the case gets litigated.