In October 2010, we started a petition campaign to press for law reform in Victoria to recognise the loss of, or injury to, an unborn child as a result of violence or culpable driving. It is particularly timely in light of recent court cases which have exposed the justice system’s inadequacy in acknowledging a mother’s trauma in losing an unborn child.
Our petition campaign quickly gained momentum in Victoria and a mirror petition was run in NSW.
After collecting more than 7000 signatures in just three weeks, we asked Members of the respective Legislative Councils to introduce into Parliament a Bill to amend the Crimes Act 1958 to allow a charge of ‘Killing an Unborn Child’ to be brought in circumstances where a criminal act causes an unborn child to die. We also asked that section 318 of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) be supplemented to provide for the offence of culpable driving occasioning the death of a child before it is born. Further, we petitioned Parliament to enact provisions to deal with non-fatal injuries to an unborn child that may result in substantial impairment or disfigurement.
You can help our campaign by writing to or e-mailing your state MPs asking them to amend the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) and the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) to allow a charge of ‘Killing an Unborn Child’ to be brought in circumstances where a criminal act causes an unborn child to die. Find and email your MPs as well as your Upper House Victorian and New South Wales state members at: