​Draft laws to better recognise the loss of an unborn child due to a criminal act

The NSW Government is seeking feedback on the Exposure Draft of the Crimes Legislation (Offences Against Pregnant Women) Bill 2020.

About the draft bill

The Crimes Legislation (Offences Against Pregnant Women) Bill proposes the following reforms to strengthen the law:

  • Amendments to the Crimes Act 1900 to provide a circumstance of aggravation for  relevant offences committed against a pregnant woman which causes the loss of an unborn child. The maximum penalty of the relevant offence will be increased by an additional three years imprisonment.
  • Amendments to the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 to expand the eligibility for making a Victim Impact Statement to the immediate family members of a pregnant woman whose unborn child was lost. This is taken into account by the court when sentencing an offender.
  • Amendments to the Criminal Procedure Act 1986 to allow for the name of an unborn child lost as a result of a criminal offence to be included on an indictment in the particulars of a criminal charge.
  • Amendments to the Motor Accidents Injuries Act 2017 to expand eligibility to claim funeral costs where an unborn child is lost as a result of a motor accident.

The proposed amendments do not affect existing laws on abortion. The proposed amendments also seek not to displace the 'born alive rule', which provides that a child attains legal personhood when they are born and take their first breath.

The Exposure Draft of the Crimes Legislation (Offences Against Pregnant Women) Bill 2020 can be viewed here

The media release about this consultation is available here

Have your say

You can provide your feedback via email to policy@justice.nsw.gov.au with the subject line 'Exposure Draft of the Crimes Legislation (Offences Against Pregnant Women) Bill 2020' or by post to:

Director, Law Enforcement and Crime
NSW Department of Communities and Justice
GPO Box 31
Sydney NSW 2001

Submissions close on 29 January 2021.

We may publish your submission or refer to your feedback in any public report, unless you request that all or part of your submission is to be kept confidential.