New South Wales Consolidated Acts

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Offence of causing loss of a foetus

54A Offence of causing loss of a foetus

(1) A person commits an offence against this section (an
"offence of causing the loss of a foetus" ) if--
(a) the person's act or omission constitutes an offence under a GBH provision (the
"relevant GBH provision" ), and
(b) the act or omission consists of, or includes, causing the loss of a foetus of a pregnant woman.
(2) To avoid doubt, if the act or omission that caused the loss of the foetus of the pregnant woman caused other injuries to the pregnant woman, the person may, in addition to the offence of causing the loss of a foetus, be charged and convicted of another offence under this Act in relation to the pregnant woman's other injuries.
(3) A person who commits an offence of causing the loss of a foetus is liable for a maximum penalty that equals the total of the following--
(a) the maximum penalty for the relevant GBH provision,
(b) 3 years' imprisonment.
(4) In sentencing a defendant for an offence of causing the loss of a foetus and another offence committed against the pregnant woman arising from the same act or omission, a court--
(a) may take into account any other injuries caused to the pregnant woman by the defendant's act or omission, but
(b) may not impose a total sentence that is more than the maximum penalty referred to in subsection (3).
(5) In a proceeding for an offence of causing the loss of a foetus it is not necessary for the prosecution to prove that the defendant knew, or ought reasonably to have known, that the woman was pregnant, unless that knowledge is an element of the relevant GBH provision.
(6) This section does not apply to--
(a) the termination of a pregnancy under the Abortion Law Reform Act 2019 , or
(b) an act or omission of a pregnant woman that results in the loss of the woman's foetus.
(7) In this section--

"foetus" means a foetus--
(a) of at least 20 weeks' gestation, or
(b) if it is not possible to reliably establish the period of gestation--that has a body mass of at least 400 grams.

"GBH provision" means a provision of this Act that creates an offence involving physical elements of causing grievous bodily harm to a person.

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