In economics, they call it the law of unintended consequences.

An event ultimately produces an outcome, sometimes negative, that was not expected.

That’s what is happening to Brandy Bottone of Plano, a mother who is 34 weeks into her pregnancy.

On June 29 she was driving on U.S. Highway 75 South and headed to the Interstate 635 West interchange. But she had to slam on the brakes because … well, I’ll let her tell the story:

“I was driving to pick up my son. I knew I couldn’t be a minute late, so I took the HOV [high-occupancy vehicle] lane. As I exited the HOV, there was a checkpoint at the end of the exit. I slammed on my brakes, and I was pulled over by police.

“An officer peeked in and asked, ‘Is there anybody else in the car?’

“I said, ‘Well, yes.’

“He asked, ‘Where?’

“I pointed to my stomach and said, ‘My baby girl is right here. She is a person.’

“He said, ‘Oh, no. It’s got to be two people outside of the body.’

“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.

“He was like, ‘I don’t want to deal with this.’ He said, ‘Ma’am, it means two persons outside of the body.’

“He waved me on to the next cop who gave me a citation and said, ‘If you fight it, it will most likely get dropped.’

“But they still gave me a ticket. So my $215 ticket was written to cause inconvenience?

“This has my blood boiling. How could this be fair? According to the new law, this is a life.

“I know this may fall on deaf ears, but as a woman, this was shocking.”

This was a Dallas County Sheriff Department’s operation. Representative Raul Reyna told me that it’s not technically a checkpoint because not every driver is stopped. The only vehicles that are stopped are ones where officers can visually see traveling with only one occupant. HOV rules require two passengers.

This particular stop took place where the HOV lane ends at U.S. 75 South near Midpark Road, Reyna said.

The sheriff’s department conducts HOV enforcement on U.S. 75 and also on Interstate 30 under contract with the Texas Department of Transportation.

These checks occur randomly, Reyna said.

The sheriff’s department declined to comment on Bottone’s pregnancy argument.

She says she doesn’t believe the state should have it both ways. If a fetus is considered a life before birth, then why doesn’t that count as a second passenger?

I asked Amy O’Donnell, spokesperson for Texas Alliance for Life, an anti-abortion group, what she thought of this unusual situation.

She replied, “While the penal code in Texas recognizes an unborn child as a person in our state, the Texas Transportation Code does not specify the same. And a child residing in a mother’s womb is not taking up an extra seat. And with only one occupant taking up a seat, the car did not meet the criteria needed to drive in that lane.”

I also explained the story to Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, but through a representative, the group declined to comment.

Bottone’s court date is July 20.

“I will be fighting it,” she says.

Dave Lieber, The Dallas Morning News