An expectant mother has graffitied messages around Melbourne’s bayside suburb of Frankston to the alleged father of her unborn baby.
The message, which has been scrawled on laneways, public barbecue areas and public bathrooms over the last few days, reads: “ Chris u need 2 talk 2 me b4 baby is born of don’t bother after.”
The collage of pictures was posted to the Frankston Community Noticeboard Facebook page.
The Facebook post has accumulated over 11,000 reactions, over 24,000 comments and more than 10000 shares.
It’s unclear whether the graffiti has been done by a prankster or a distressed person looking to find “Chris”.
While some Facebook users commented on the post expressing their anger over “vandalism,” others were more keen to discover the whereabouts of the mysterious ‘Chris.’
“I need to know what happens next. Will Chris call? Will she keep her word of blanking Chris once the baby is born?” one woman wrote on Facebook.
A Frankston City Council spokesman told The Ageclean-up crews had removed the graffiti.
He encouraged the people in question to “consider more constructive” ways of communicating.
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Pregnant Meghan Markle has made an appearance during the Vax Live telecast, claiming COVID has wiped out a generation of progress for women of color.
The Duchess of Sussex made the assertion in a recorded statement, which appeared to be filmed in the backyard of her $14.7 million Montecito mansion.
‘As campaign chairs of Vax Live, my husband and I believe it’s critical that our recovery prioritizes the health, safety and success of everyone, but particularly women who have been disproportionately affected by this pandemic,’ Meghan stated.
‘Women, and especially women of color, have seen a generation of economic gain wiped out.’
Cradling her large baby bump in a red floral blouse, Meghan continued: ‘My husband and I are thrilled to soon be welcoming a daughter. It’s a feeling of joy we share with millions of other families around the world.
‘When we think of her, we think of all the young women and girls around the globe who must be given the ability and support to lead us forward.’
The Vax Live concert took place at Los Angeles’ Lo-Fi stadium this past Sunday. Prince Harry appeared in person, but Meghan reportedly pulled out at the last minute.
However, her brief recorded statement aired at the conclusion of the concert’s telecast – which was aired across multiple TV channels in the US on Saturday night.
It was the Duchess’s first appearance on American television since her and Harry’s bombshell interview with Oprah back in March.
Meghan also wielded out a series of stats during her 2-minute statement, saying: ‘Since the pandemic began, nearly 5.5 million women have lost work in the U.S., and 47 million more women around the world are expected to slip into extreme poverty.’
She also stated that the the ‘future leadership’ of young women ‘depends on the decisions we make and the actions we take now’.
‘We want to make sure that as we recover, we recover stronger; that as we rebuild, we rebuild together,’ the Duchess declared.
It’s unclear when Meghan’s statement was recorded. However, she sported a softer and more maternal look than she did during her Oprah interview.
The Duchess opted for a bright and loose-fitting button down adorned with flowers. She left her long locks free-flowing and styled them in loose curls.
Meanwhile, Prince Harry warned against the ‘politicization’ of COVID-19 vaccines in a video which was recorded backstage at the Vax Live concert.
‘I think the most worrying thing for me and my wife [Meghan].. is science being politicized,’ Harry stated in the black and white clip, posted to Twitter on Saturday.
‘When we’re talking about life and death, which we’re talking about now, vaccines cannot be politicized’.
The Duke of Sussex further declared: ‘We must ensure that everyone around the world has equal access to the vaccine, otherwise none of this works.’
Harry and Meghan have backed US President Joe Biden’s move to waive vaccine patents for poorer countries.
That decision – which was announced earlier this week – caused shares for vaccine makers Pfizer and Moderna to tumble on Thursday. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla described support of the waivers as ‘so wrong’,
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No matter how far they go, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will never be able to truly escape the Royal Family.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have today announced the exciting news that they are expecting their second child.
As the well wishes rolled in, it didn’t take long formedia outlets like The Project to poke fun at what the couple might call their unborn child — with Lisa taking the opportunity to make a pointed joke.
“She looks very pregnant. That’s obviously happened very, very quickly. What do you
think the chances are of that kid being called Andrew?”
RELATED: Piers slammed for response to baby news
The butt of the joke is Prince Andrew, Queen Elizabeth II’s disgraced son who has faced multiple allegations over the past several years about sexual assault.
He had strong links to the late Jeffrey Epstein who was found guilty of similar charges.
The happy news from Meghan and Harry was revealed on Sunday US time by the couple in a surprise statement.
“We can confirm that Archie is going to be a big brother. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are overjoyed to be expecting their second child,” a spokesperson for the couple said in the statement, according to Today.
The announcement comes exactly 37 years after Princess Diana announced she was pregnant with Prince Harry, on Valentine’s Day in 1984.
It is not yet known when baby number two is due to arrive, with other details remaining under wraps, although the Duke and Duchess released an intimate, black-and-white photo along with the announcement that shows Meghan cradling a visible baby bump.
Police were considering a third murder charge over Miles’s death, but confirmed on Tuesday they would not pursue the additional count after receiving legal advice.
Assistant Commissioner Brian Codd said the teenager had an extra eight charges laid on Monday afternoon, but murder was not one of them.
“We have now received legal advice indicating that the specific charge of killing an unborn child under the provision of the Criminal Code is not available to us on this occasion,” he said.
“We understand that this may be difficult for some to understand, but I can assure you that the death of baby Miles will not be overlooked and will be presented for consideration to the courts as an aggravating element of the murder charge that we have put forward relating to the death of his mother, Kate.
“There’s a couple of parts to it. One is that it is a really technical aspect of law.
“There are other legal aspects about the provisions of that specific offence for the killing of an unborn child, that relate to specific assaults on a mother.
“The advice we got was that that would not apply in this case and there have been decisions in the courts in the past that provide us guidance about the best way to move forward.”
The extra charges included three counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle while adversely affected by an intoxicating substance, and two counts of failing to fulfil duties at an accident.
There was also one count each of wilful damage, driving disqualified driving and possession of tainted property.
The accused teenager will reappear in the Brisbane Children’s Court on March 24.
Mr Codd, along with other senior police and first responders who attended the scene in Alexandra Hills on Australia Day, were invited to Monday’s funeral by the families of the victims.
“Some of them [first responders] are doing it really hard, understandably. I knew yesterday would be a heart-breaking time, but can I say, I’ve been reflecting on it overnight, on the strength of these families, the strength of the community and the overwhelming support,” he said.
“In the middle of their grief, they [the families] were taking the time to come and express to me their thanks for the roles that our people played and continue to play in supporting them, and they showed confidence in us to pursue justice on their behalf.
“It might sound odd, but it was really empowering.”
Lydia Lynch is Queensland political reporter for the Brisbane Times
Toby Crockford is a breaking news reporter at the Brisbane Times
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“There are provisions under the Criminal Code that do speak about the death of an unborn child in certain circumstances,” he said.
“And we’re examining very, very closely whether they apply in this case.
“It’s such a complicated area [of law] about viability of unborn children and age.
“But I think it’s important for us to at least consider it, even if it’s an unlikely charge, in respect of the fact that there were three lives involved.”
Mr Codd said even if police were unable to charge the teen over the unborn child’s death, Ms Leadbetter’s pregnancy would be taken into account in court during the murder case.
Section 313 of the Queensland Criminal Code does include an offence of killing an unborn child “when a female is about to be delivered of a child”.
Anyone who prevented the child from being born alive by any act or omission – excluding legal abortions – would face life in jail.
However, the Queensland Law Reform Commission, in its examination of abortion reform, suggested it was unclear whether the phrase “about to be delivered of a child” meant a baby whose birth was imminent, or a “viable” fetus.
People can also be sentenced to life in jail for the unlawful assault of a pregnant woman that results in the unborn baby’s death or grievous bodily harm before its birth.
That second offence was introduced in 1997 in response to a case where a man caused a stillbirth after kicking his estranged partner, who was pregnant, in the abdomen.
Because the child was not born alive, there was no unlawful killing, so he was instead prosecuted for unlawful procurement of a miscarriage and assault.
Former Queensland Law Society president Bill Potts said section 313 was rarely used and the second charge generally related to cases where a pregnant woman was kicked or punched in the abdomen, although police could “in theory” use it.
As the accused is aged 17, and will be dealt with under the Youth Justice system, he will face up to 10 years in jail if convicted of murder, or life if the offence iss considered “heinous”.
However, Mr Potts said the teenager would be unlikely to face more time in jail if he was also charged and convicted over the death of the unborn child, in addition to murder.
“In any case, the courts, if he is convicted, will take into account the aggravating feature that an unborn life has been extinguished,” Mr Potts said.
“Even if they were successful in laying and prosecuting the charge [for killing the child], he would not receive any extra penalty above that of the murders.
“The penalty would be subsumed under the more serious penalty for murder.”
Murder is “intentional killing” but Labor changed the law in 2019 to include acts of reckless indifference, which could, for example, include driving dangerously and speeding, resulting in a person’s death.
In 2017, the LNP state convention voted to look at new legislation, modelled on the US Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004, to recognise the death of a child in utero by an illegal or reckless act as an offence.
The mooted laws, dubbed Sophie’s Law, were inspired by the case of Sarah Milosevic, who was 39 weeks pregnant when her car was hit by a drunk and speeding driver in 2014.
Her unborn baby, Sophie, died before they could get to hospital.
The driver was fined $950 and received a five-month licence suspension after being charged with drink driving and speeding.
Felicity Caldwell is state political correspondent at the Brisbane Times
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Like many expectant mothers, Jen Spears is anxious about the impending arrival.
But the resident of Tura Beach, near Bega on the NSW Far South Coast, has another reason to be nervous.
She’s waiting to see if smoke from the disastrous summer bushfires — which hit early in her third pregnancy — will affect the health of her baby girl.
“I’m just really nervous and worried that once I get this baby out, that’s not the last of it,” she said.
“We could be in hospital for a week or two, or my placenta could fail and I could lose the baby.”
She’s not alone in being worried.
Highly-experienced obstetricians working in bushfire-affected areas have told the ABC of their concerns that not enough is being done to investigate the long-term effects of bushfire smoke on mothers and newborns.
The ABC has been told there have already been babies born early, underweight and requiring special care and doctors, midwives and patients suspect it could be linked to smoke exposure.
Moruya obstetrician Michael Holland said he had seen some deeply concerning cases since the bushfires.
We’ve had, unfortunately, three late pregnancy losses, three stillbirths in the early half of the year,” he said.
“Now, I don’t know whether that’s a random thing that’s occurred or whether any of those adverse outcomes were associated with the bushfire disaster.”
Dr Holland said more babies had been transferred to Canberra Hospital for delivery before 37 weeks’ gestation, and he had seen 10 more babies than usual who were born underweight.
Dr Holland also said some women’s placentas had shown signs of calcification or had stopped growing.
“It’s the sort of placenta you’ll see in mothers who smoke basically — and that was occurring in women who didn’t smoke,” he said.
Canberra-based obstetrician Steve Robson said he had recently delivered babies who were “unexpectedly and unpredictably small”.
“You can only wonder whether it was something to do with the mothers inhaling the smoke for so long at the height of the bushfire, in the early stages of their pregnancies.”
NSW Health said there was “no data or evidence about the effect of the recent NSW bushfires on pregnant women and/or their babies”.
There is not a huge body of scientific knowledge on the long-term effects of smoke on pregnant women.
A Colorado study published last year showed that exposure to smoke from wildfires during the first trimester was linked to decreased birth weight and an increase in gestational diabetes and hypertension.
Exposure in the second trimester was associated with pre-term birth, while third-trimester smoke exposure contributed to lower birth weights.
Research from the 2003 southern California bushfires showed babies exposed in utero had lower birth rates than those born before or more than nine months after the fires.
While an Australian study of more than 3,500 women exposed to Victoria’s Hazelwood Coal Mine fire in 2014 found an increased likelihood of gestational diabetes, but no effect on birthweight or gestation at birth.
The bushfire royal commission this week heard nine Australian research projects investigating the long-term effects of bushfire smoke on health had been “put on ice” due to COVID-19.
Midwife Hannah Dalen said it was difficult to know how much of the negative pregnancy outcomes were due to women’s high stress levels during the bushfires.
“It’s very difficult to separate out the stress of the event from the effects of smoke,” she said.
The professor of midwifery at Western Sydney University said stress could also lead to early births and smaller birth weights.
It also caused the body to be flooded with cortisol, which could increase blood sugar levels and cause gestational diabetes.
Both Dr Robson and Dr Holland stressed the pressing need for more local research to help health professionals give informed advice to expectant mothers.
Jen Spears agrees.
While she stayed mostly indoors, wore a mask and placed wet towels under doors to stop fine particles entering her home, it wasn’t until her 28-week appointment at Bega South East Regional Hospital that a midwife told her those measures might not have been enough to keep her baby safe.
“I thought I was doing the right thing and in hindsight I’ve been told it wasn’t enough, which is upsetting,” she said.
“You just felt really helpless that you couldn’t get into a time machine and go back six weeks and change what you did or changed where you were,” she said.
Ms Spears evacuated to Canberra at one point, with her sons Finn, 3, and Dane, 18 months, while husband Scott stayed to help protect the property.
But the smoke followed them there “like a horror movie, this sort of creeping menace that stayed with us”.
Dr Robson said about early January in Canberra he was delivering babies “into smoky birth rooms”.
“I’d never encountered anything like that before and I think it was distressing for everybody involved — there was just no escape from the smoke.”
He said there were significant health implications for newborns too.
Courtney Collins gave birth to her daughter Quincy in Canberra in May, six weeks early after experiencing pregnancy complications unrelated to the bushfires.
“She was born early so she had a breathing machine and was in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) for two weeks,” Ms Collins said.
The family farm in Buckajo, west of Bega, was threatened by fire in January, but Ms Collins said she was still cleaning ash and soot from the home.
She said it wasn’t worth the risk for pregnant mothers to stay during bushfires, if they could avoid it.
“If I was going to have another child, there’s no way.”