Brodie Donegan
Brodie Donegan

Government split again over Zoe’s Law changes

Outspoken Liberal MP Tanya Davies is mounting a campaign to strengthen draft legislation which would impose harsher penalties for crimes which cause the death of an unborn child.

The proposed changes are emerging as a potential flashpoint for Liberal party tensions, with some MPs arguing a bill approved by Cabinet in November needs to go further.

Attorney-General Mark Speakman proposed penalties which would make the death of an unborn child an aggravating factor in a crime.

 

Tanya Davies says the proposed changes to laws for crimes which cause the death of an unborn child are not strong enough. Picture: AAP Image/Dean Lewins
Tanya Davies says the proposed changes to laws for crimes which cause the death of an unborn child are not strong enough. Picture: AAP Image/Dean Lewins

 

However, Liberals including Ms Davies have been angered by the draft bill because it doesn't create a separate offence for the death of an unborn child, which was proposed in stalled legislation known as Zoe's Law.

 

 

Ms Davies, who threatened to leave the Coalition at the height of the abortion debate last year, has now called for her supporters to lobby the government to strengthen its draft legislation.

"This draft exposure bill claims to be Zoe's Law, but it is not Zoe's Law," Ms Davies said.

"It doesn't deliver the essential element of what is Zoe's Law, and that is a separate criminal offence for the death of an unborn child at the hands of a criminal action."

 

 

Premier Gladys Berejiklian previously committed her government to enacting a form of Zoe's Law in this term of parliament.

"I'll fight tooth and nail to demand that (the Premier) honour her promise not only to people like myself, but to the families impacted by these horrendous circumstances and to the people of NSW," Ms Davies said.

She added the Premier would be "strengthened" in her leadership if she introduces laws to create a separate offence for a crime resulting in the death of an unborn child.

 

Brodie Donegan was pregnant in 2009 when a drunk driver hit her, which resulted in the loss of her unborn baby. Picture: Justin Lloyd
Brodie Donegan was pregnant in 2009 when a drunk driver hit her, which resulted in the loss of her unborn baby. Picture: Justin Lloyd

 

"She will see people who are conservative, who are traditional people that uphold the family that come back to her, particularly after the bruising (abortion) debate from last year," Ms Davies said.

Brodie Donegan, who lost her unborn daughter Zoe after she was hit by a drug-affected driver on Christmas Day in 2009, has labelled the proposed law changes a "cop out".

Originally published as Government split again over Zoe's Law changes


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