MEDIA RELEASE – 2021 07 07 – The return of Zoe’s Law

Donegan family’s baby to be recognised with Zoe’s Law

June 7, 2021

I welcome media reporting last night that grieving mother BrodieDonegan’s wish for her 32 week (8 months old) unborn baby’s life to be recognised is to realised. After years of debate, lobbying and other efforts by myself, the Christian Democratic Party and many others, the Government is now reportedly adopting the core component of my bill Zoe’s Law in their own legislation Offences Against Pregnant Women.

Brodie’s unborn daughter, Zoe, was tragically killed when a drugged driver crashed into her vehicle on Christmas Day 2009.

My Zoe’s Law aims:
(a) to establish a separate offence for conduct causing serious harm to or the destruction of an unborn child, and
(b) to extend the offence of dangerous driving causing death or grievous bodily harm to dangerous driving causing the destruction of, or serious harm to, an unborn child.

Offences Against Pregnant Women is draft legislation and not yet before Parliament but achieves the following:
– Increase of penalties to crimes committed against pregnant Mothers that lose their unborn child as a result
– Families able to provide victim impact statements
– Funeral costs to be paid for by the guilty party
– The naming of the unborn child in court documents

It is understood an initial draft did not treat an offence against an unborn baby as a separate crime. But now according to media reports, the draft legislation will recognise the killing of an unborn child as a separate offence rather than an aggravating factor in determining penalties. This is a huge step forward for mothers and unborn children killed as a result of crime.

If the reports are correct then I am very pleased with this change in direction and fully intend to support this legislation.

There is more to come but for the time being I urge all Members, Supporters and the general public to contact their State Representative and support this recognition of the humanity of the unborn child.

The loss of unborn baby Zoe is a matter of tragic fact, not conscience, and I would expect all Parliamentarians to vote accordingly in respect for the wishes of her mother and other mothers also facing such tragic
circumstances.

Please find the links below reporting this welcome news in which Rev Nile makes a statement on Channel 7 News.

Channel 7 News (05/07/2021) – Statement from Rev Nile
Channel 7 News (06/07/2021) – Zoe’s Law Update

Yours faithfully,

Media inquiries:
Rev. Hon. Fred Nile MLC (02) 9230 2478

 

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