A gang of four Liberal MPs have confronted the Premier about what they consider to be a “soft” bill aimed at punishing people who kill unborn children.
A gang of four Liberal MPs have confronted the Premier about what they consider to be a “soft” bill aimed at punishing people who kill unborn children.

Party room turns on premier over ‘soft’ baby death law bill

Four Liberal MPs have used a private party room meeting to accuse the Premier of being too soft with new laws designed to recognise the loss of an unborn child in a criminal act.

The draft "Zoe's Law" legislation was taken to the Liberal party room this morning, where the Premier conceded the proposed law was not as strong as some members would have hoped.

Under the plan, as revealed last week by The Daily Telegraph, the "Zoe's law" bill would make the death of an unborn child an "aggravating factor" to criminal acts that would see offenders cop tougher penalties rather than creating a separate criminal offence for killing a foetus.

Zoe’s Law was enacted for Brodie Donegan, whose unborn daughter died on Christmas day in 2009 when she was hit by a drug driver. Picture: Peter Clark
Zoe’s Law was enacted for Brodie Donegan, whose unborn daughter died on Christmas day in 2009 when she was hit by a drug driver. Picture: Peter Clark

Causing the death of an unborn child would add a maximum three years to a criminal sentence.

Ms Berejiklian was questioned by conservative members Tanya Davies, Kevin Connolly, Nathaniel Smith and Matthew Mason-Cox, when it was pointed out the government had promised a stronger position before the 2019 election.

The legislation was inspired by NSW mum Brodie Donegan who lost her unborn baby after she was hit by a drug-­affected driver on Christmas Day in 2009.

Ms Berejiklian told the Liberal party room the proposed legislation was the only position the government believed it could get through the Upper House.

Liberal MP Tanya Davies was one of those to speak to the Premier. Picture: Dylan Robinson
Liberal MP Tanya Davies was one of those to speak to the Premier. Picture: Dylan Robinson

 

The rebel group wanted to negotiate with upper house MPs like Fred Nile. Picture: Sam Ruttyn
The rebel group wanted to negotiate with upper house MPs like Fred Nile. Picture: Sam Ruttyn

Mr Mason-Cox argued the government could have instead negotiated with conservative Upper House crossbenchers like Christian Democrat Fred Nile and One Nation Leader Mark Latham to implement tougher penalties.

In a statement in relation to the draft bill, Ms Berejiklian said: "These reforms will acknowledge the heartbreaking loss experienced by many families."

"Given the sensitivity and complexity surrounding this issue, it is important to engage with the community, victims and experts so that we can achieve meaningful reform together."

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Originally published as Party room turns on Gladys over 'soft' Zoe's Law bill



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