Causing the death of an unborn child will be viewed similar to murder by courts as part of new laws the state government wants to bring in.
Attorney General Christian Porter said the proposed foetal homicide laws would strengthen penalties that apply in cases of violence against pregnant women which resulted in the death of the unborn child.
Currently there are no specific provisions which require courts to take into account the death of an unborn child when sentencing offenders for assaults or other unlawful acts committed against pregnant women.
Mr Porter said it was intended that the laws would create a new offence of causing death or grievous bodily harm to an unborn child through an unlawful assault on its mother.
This offence would carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
Under the proposed laws where the unborn child died following an assault on a pregnant woman and where the offender intended to cause serious harm to the unborn child, courts would be required to impose life imprisonment in all but exceptional circumstances - the same penalty which applies for murder.
The laws would also include dangerous driving offences which caused the death of an unborn child.
Such an offence would carry a maximum imprisonment term of 20 years.
Where there was a history of domestic violence against the mother by the offender prior to them harming or causing the death of an unborn child, the offender would face a presumption of imprisonment.
"The Government's proposed laws reflect our view that any act of violence against a mother-to-be is an especially serious offence," Mr Porter said.
"Where an offender causes serious injury or death to an unborn child, the law must properly reflect the extreme emotional trauma such a loss can cause to the mother."
Mr Porter said fresh consideration of WA's laws in relation to unborn children had been prompted by recent cases which had resulted in strong advocacy for change.
Just this month Matthew Silvestro was fined $8000 and disqualified from driving for two years after driving head on into another vehicle with his former partner, who was pregnant at the time, in the car.
The pair's then-two-year-old child who was also in the car survived the crash but the unborn child Silvestro's former partner, Vanessa De Bari, was carrying died.
If the proposed laws had been implemented, Mr Silvestro may have been given jail time.
Mr Porter said the proposed legislation would not affect laws relating to abortion.
"This ensures these changes will not affect a mother's right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy."