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  1. #1
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    Default *Possible trigger* Zoe's Law

    WDYT?

    It's currently being debated in NSW parliament and there will be a conscience vote.

    http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2...uctive-freedom


    Women's rights groups are warning that a New South Wales bill to recognise crimes against unborn children could threaten women's reproductive freedom.

    The bill, which is likely to debated in the state parliament next week, is the Crimes Amendment Bill 2013 - also known as Zoe's Law.

    The amendment would - for the first time in Australia - recognise a crime of grievous bodily harm against an unborn child.

    Zoe's law is so named after the stillborn child of New South Wales mother Brodie Donegan, who on Christmas Day 2009 was struck by a car as she walked down the street.

    The injuries suffered by Ms Donegan resulted in the death of her fetus at 32 weeks gestation, but the driver was not charged with Zoe's death because the law did not recognise her as a person.

    .....................

    Mr Spence says the bill stipulates that the offence will not apply to medical procedures or to conduct engaged in with the consent of the mother.

    "It is absolutely explicit that medical procedures are exempt and that anything done by or with the consent of the mother, it is absolutely nothing to do with abortion laws nor will it have any influence on them."

    .....

    Chair of the national Women's Electoral Lobby Melanie Fernandez says the established law is enough to ensure that crimes against a fetus are punished.

    "The concern that the women's sector has is that this bill establishes personhood for a fetus so it defines a fetus as a living person from 20 weeks or from 400 grams and so the concern that we have is that this legislation is being used to set precedent to then bring further legisation that rolls backs women's access to abortion and productive rights."

    ........
    Currently across Australia, a fetus has no legal rights and is not considered to be a person.

    However in several jurisdictions, a person can be charged with grevious bodily harm against a woman that results in the death of a fetus, but they cannot be charged with a crime against the fetus itself.

  2. #2
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    Buttoneska is offline Winner 2010- Most Community Minded Thread Award
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    i think its a possible slipperly slope, but on the surface i think its good that 3rd parties are accountable for actions against the mother and fetus (at what gestation i dunno?)

    but i don't think this should apply to the mother, who should retain bodily autonomy until the child is born and can sustain their own life (with medical/parental care obviosuly)

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  4. #3
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    My best friend died at 37wks pregnant in a car accident that was not her fault. I would have liked the courts to at least acknowledge the baby that would never be given a chance take his first breath due to anothers actions. He didn't get a mention.

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    From 20 weeks if a baby passes before birth it is classed as stillborn opposed to a miscarriage. I think a fetus should be recognized as a person from 20 weeks. I lost my daughter in a similar incident and to have had her acknowledged by the person that caused my baby to die would have given me alot of closure. I 10000% would like to see this put in place

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    missymoo9 and IndigoJ, I'm so sorry to hear about your losses.

    I had no idea about the laws surrounding this until I heard about Ms Donegan's accident and read that Zoe couldn't be recognised under current law.

    I understand Chris Spence has been very careful with the new version of the bill. I haven't studied law, but to me the intention of the bill appears to be quite specific, with a medical exemption included.


    I believe the first time the legislation was proposed (by Rev Fred Nile) it was suggested that 'personhood' be recognised from conception, that the charge be manslaughter, and it was put alongside some proposed anti-abortion legislation so I can understand how it may have been problematic.


    -----------
    If anyone wants to read the bill introduction here's the link (***Please note it does include details of the accident which may be distressing**) http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/pro...'s law.pdf

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    That's all well and good if that's what women want but people to need to realise that if that's the way it's going to be then it should go both ways. If a pregnant woman drinks/smokes/does something dangerous while she is pregnant she should be charged with child abuse. If she is involved in a car accident that is her fault and her fetus dies then again she should be charged with manslaughter. I'm all for it as long as women realise the implications of this and can handle it. I'm not for it if it's just for some accident that is caused by someone else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Renesme View Post
    That's all well and good if that's what women want but people to need to realise that if that's the way it's going to be then it should go both ways. If a pregnant woman drinks/smokes/does something dangerous while she is pregnant she should be charged with child abuse. If she is involved in a car accident that is her fault and her fetus dies then again she should be charged with manslaughter. I'm all for it as long as women realise the implications of this and can handle it. I'm not for it if it's just for some accident that is caused by someone else.
    I don't think that it is being designed to be used for "just for some accident that is caused by someone else" it is for death to an unborn child due to a criminal act. Baby Zoe died because the driver of the car that hit Brodie was under the influence of drugs. That is not an accident in my view. She would have been born a health baby had this "accident" not occured.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WiseOldOwl View Post
    I don't think that it is being designed to be used for "just for some accident that is caused by someone else" it is for death to an unborn child due to a criminal act. Baby Zoe died because the driver of the car that hit Brodie was under the influence of drugs. That is not an accident in my view. She would have been born a health baby had this "accident" not occured.
    If they're going to pass a law like that it is going to cover those types of things. It's not just going to say "if they're under the influence of drugs or alcohol". I honestly feel for them. I think it sucks. I think the same when a drunk driver hits someone and they die and the person gets 2 years prison time. It's bull****. Even if this law passes that's what it'll be "oh he didn't know what he was doing because he was on drugs".
    Last edited by Renesme; 09-09-2013 at 09:04.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Renesme View Post
    If they're going to pass a law like that it is going to cover those types of things. It's not just going to say "if they're under the influence of drugs or alcohol".
    I'm sorry I must be misunderstanding you. My understanding is that it is meant to cover any criminal act, drink/drug driving, violent crimes with weapons, abuse etc that causes the death of a unborn child.

  15. #10
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    In a criminal act, that causes the death of a foetus, the mother would be severely injured herself. Couldn't the law be changed to be dual charge (say GBH causing foetal death) rather than two separate charges.
    I can understand wanting the baby acknowledged, but as mother and baby are still a single unit (sorry, couldn't think of a better word), if you start giving the baby its own legal identity it leads to a slippery slope.

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