Review into NSW laws involving the deaths of unborn children (Aust) May 24, 2010

A retired judge will conduct a new review into NSW laws involving the deaths of unborn children, state Attorney-General John Hatzistergos said today. It comes after Central Coast couple Brodie Donegan and Nick Ball lost their baby, named Zoe, after a motorist, who was allegedly high on drugs, hit Ms Donegan as she walked near her Ourimbah home on Christmas Day 2009. Her baby was stillborn following the accident. But according to New South Wales law, Zoe Ball was not a human being because, despite spending eight months in her mother’s womb, the baby did not take a breath. The motorist was charged with dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm and driving under the influence of drugs.

The new review follows a previous examination of the laws by another retired judge in 2002, which resulted in the extension of grievous bodily harm laws but raised potential problems with manslaughter charges in such cases. ..”Not charging for Zoe’s death negates her life,” Ms Donegan said. “There has to be a specific law that recognises the viability of life and protects an unborn child and the wording of that law has to include manslaughter. And it should apply on a national level.”