A bill allowing people to be charged with manslaughter if they cause a woman to lose her baby has been introduced to NSW parliament, with Christian Democratic MP Fred Nile saying it has nothing to do with abortions.
The proposed legislation has been named Zoe's Law, in honour of the unborn child of Brodie Donegan, a Central Coast woman who was eight months pregnant on Christmas Day in 2009 when she was hit by a drug-affected driver.
Zoe was stillborn as a result but the driver wasn't charged with her death because the law didn't recognise her as a person.
Mr Nile said the incident proved his private member's bill was necessary.
"This bill provides an exemption for medical procedures, which is the terminology for a termination or abortion," he told parliament on Thursday.
"This bill has nothing to do with abortion or terminations of pregnancy."
Mr Nile's bill amends the Crimes Act to prohibit conduct that causes serious harm to or the destruction of a child in utero.
It also extends the offence of dangerous driving causing death to include the destruction of a child in utero.
If Zoe's Law is adopted it will create the potential for someone to be charged with manslaughter if they cause a woman to lose her baby.
Mr Nile said the bill was "geared to meet the anguish of these women".
Other MPs have previously criticised the bill as unnecessary because an amendment to the NSW Crimes Act was introduced in 2005 extending the definition of grievous bodily harm to cover the destruction of a foetus.
Mr Nile is expected to introduce a number of other controversial bills this session, including one that would require women to view an ultrasound of the unborn child before proceeding with an abortion.
Zoe's Law will now go to cabinet for consideration.
"I hope and pray that cabinet will support it," Mr Nile told parliament.
The introduction of the bill comes days after Victorian Democratic Labor Party (DLP) Senator John Madigan took aim at Labor and the Greens over their stance on abortions, adding that "in some parliamentary circles, promoting abortion appears to be a badge of honour".