New laws could be introduced in Western Australia to increase the penalty for harming or causing the death of an unborn child.
The proposed foetal homicide laws would create a new offence of causing death or grievous bodily harm to an unborn child through an unlawful assault on its mother.
Similar to legislation in Queensland, it would carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
Courts would be required to impose life imprisonment unless there were exceptional circumstances, which is the same penalty that applies for murder.
Dangerous driving offences that caused the death of an unborn child would carry a maximum prison term of 20 years.
Where there was a history of domestic violence against the mother by the offender prior to the offence, the offender would face a presumption of imprisonment.
Attorney General Christian Porter said changes were needed in the law to properly reflect the emotional trauma that losing an unborn child could cause to a mother.
Mr Porter said the proposed legislation would not affect laws relating to abortion.
"The proposed legislation will be drafted to require an unlawful act to be done to the mother before any penalty can apply," he said.
"This ensures these changes will not affect a mother's right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy."
Mr Porter promised more consultations before the legislation was introduced to parliament.