NSW Treasurer Mike Baird says he's got an open mind on a bill that allows people to be charged with grievous bodily harm if they hurt an unborn baby.

MPs have another week until they debate the proposed bill, named in honour of the unborn child of Brodie Donegan, who was hit by a drug-affected driver on Christmas Day in 2009.

Zoe was stillborn as a result, but the driver couldn't be charged because the law currently doesn't recognise unborn babies as people.

Christian Democratic MP Fred Nile has previously introduced a bill to prohibit conduct that causes serious harm to or the destruction of a child in utero.

A further amendment has been brought by Liberal MP Chris Spence, which if passed would enable a person to be charged with grievous bodily harm if they cause the destruction or harm of a foetus at 20 weeks or 400 grams.

Mr Baird said he had "some sympathy" with Mr Spence's aims.

"I feel the pain of the mum involved and I understand some of those circumstances," he told reporters in Sydney.

"(It's) an issue that I am, to be honest, still working through ... I've got an open mind to it."

But Mr Baird said it was important to make sure the bill would work in a legal context.

"That is something that obviously a range of us are working through," he added.

Health Minister Jillian Skinner has already decided to vote against it.

"I do sympathise with the reason why we had this private member's bill, but I am concerned about unintended consequences, particularly about some of the definitions in it," she told reporters.

There have been fears the bill progresses an anti-abortion agenda and could be used to reduce women's reproductive choices.

Ms Skinner said she felt for Ms Donegan but wasn't "comfortable with this particular approach".

Mr Baird welcomed the fact MPs had been given more time before deciding on where they stand.

"I think that's sensible. I think that all of us want to respond in a way that considers all of the implications," he said.

 

Advertisement