ACL compiles a daily media monitoring service of stories of interest to the Christian constituency relating to children, family, drugs and alcohol, marriage, human rights, religious freedom etc. Visit the ACL’s website each day to see what’s of interest in the news. Please note that selection of the articles does not represent ACL endorsement of the content.



 



Abortion

330 million abortions since 1971 in China; 1500 per hour: government stats


John Jalsevac - LifeSiteNews





New data from China’s health ministry has revealed that approximately 330 million abortions have been performed in the country since 1971, according to AFP. According to Chinese government researchers, currently about 13 million abortions occur annually, or about 1,500 every hour on average. As well, over the past 40 years Chinese officials have sterilized nearly 200 million men and women, and inserted 400 million intra-uterine devices.














Bioethics

Note to pharmacists on how not to sell the morning-after pill


Safeera Hussainy - The Conversation





The emergency contraceptive pill (morning-after pill) contains a hormone called levonorgestrel and can be bought without a prescription. It’s used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex, but many women are uncomfortable with their interaction with pharmacists when buying this drug. The morning-after pill is licensed by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to be used within three days of unprotected sex, but there’s evidence that it’s effective for up to four days. Still, the sooner it is taken, the more effective it is.
















Charities & NFP

Some churches 'run more like cults'


Adam Shand - The Australian





Investigators with the new Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission are probing numerous alleged breaches, including serious fraud and misleading behaviour, in a historic clean-out of non-compliant charities. The ACNC, established in December, has set up a team staffed by experienced former law-enforcement officers, auditors and risk managers to investigate complaints.








Children and families

Push for adoption change


Ben McKay - The Examiner





Tasmanian same-sex couples will be given the same adoption rights as married couples under changes to legislation to be tabled in Parliament today. Children's Minister Michelle O'Byrne will table an amendment to the Adoption Act allowing same-sex couples to adopt children given up by their birth parents. Under existing laws, only married couples have that option and same-sex couples can only adopt a child who is a relative or step-child.














Donor Conception & Surrogacy

'Three-parent' IVF hurdle cleared in UK


John von Radowitz - AAP





UK fertility regulators have paved the way for the government to legalise the creation of IVF babies with three genetic parents. In advice to ministers, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) set out safeguards for controversial mitochondrial replacement techniques that could affect future generations. But the HFEA did not explicitly argue for a change of the law that would allow children to be conceived with the help of DNA donated by a second "mother".
















Euthanasia

Suicide clinic to be unveiled


Helen Kempton - The Mercury





A mobile medically assisted suicide clinic and new ways of obtaining a peaceful death will be unveiled in Hobart this weekend as debate over euthanasia legislation continues in Tasmania. Exit International director Phillip Nitschke wants Tasmania to have Australia's first mobile medically assisted suicide clinic if the state's euthanasia laws are changed.
















Human Rights

Anti-discrimination laws overhaul delayed


Daniel Hurst - SMH





The Gillard government has put overhauling anti-discrimination laws on hold as Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus concedes proposed changes may not have struck the right balance. But while it is reconsidering broader discrimination law changes, it will push ahead this week with a separate bill to protect Australians on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status. Last year Mr Dreyfus' predecessor, Nicola Roxon, proposed a draft bill that she argued would merge and simplify five existing anti-discrimination laws.












Dreyfus scuttles proposed anti-discrimination laws

James Glenday - ABC





The Federal Government has delayed its controversial overhaul of the nation's anti-discrimination laws indefinitely. Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus says the proposed laws did not strike the right balance and will be reworked. Instead, he will push ahead with just one bill to better protect the rights of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender and intersex people.














ACL welcomes government’s decision to delay anti-discrimination legislation

Katherine Spackman - International





The Australian Christian Lobby has welcomed today’s announcement by Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus to rework consolidating anti-discrimination laws. Managing Director Jim Wallace said what had started as a sensible consolidation of anti-discrimination laws into one had gone well off track threatening freedom of religion and other fundamental human rights.














Indigenous

Most indigenous kids completing Year 12


AAP





Federal Schools Minister Peter Garrett says he's proud that more than half of indigenous students are now staying in school and finishing Year 12. Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released on Wednesday show that last year, for the first time, 51.1 per cent of indigenous students were sticking with their schooling all the way through to Year 12. This is well up from the 38 per cent retention rate a decade earlier in 2002.










Elders oppose cape food bowl laws

Rosanne Barrett - The Australian





A plan to develop Cape York's economy through agriculture has been questioned by traditional owners who say the region's soil and climate conditions are unsuitable for farming. The Newman government yesterday introduced changes to land-clearing laws into parliament to allow exemptions for broadacre farming and regrowth clearing on freehold and indigenous land. The statewide changes are being introduced as the Newman government seeks to develop resource and farming sectors across the state's far northern cape and gulf regions through the removal of wild rivers protections and the expansion of mining exploration.












Marriage

Do infertile couples clinch the case for same-sex marriage?


Robert R. Reilly - Mercator Net





Nope. All infertilities are not equal. There is a crucial difference between an infertile heterosexual union and an impotent homosexual one.












Gay marriage ruling may rival Roe v. Wade in turmoil

Cheryl Wetzstein - The Washington Times





The issue of gay marriage is hurtling toward a Supreme Court date this month, and activists on both sides are fearing — or hoping for — another Roe v. Wade-type decision. The 1973 Roe decision — which the justices hoped would settle the legal question on abortion once and for all — instead spawned a political and cultural clash that is still raging. Many traditional-values advocates are predicting a similar divisive scenario if the high court overrides laws approved by legislatures and voters in dozens of states defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.




















Politics

Rudd forces gather


Mark Kenny - SMH





Kevin Rudd's supporters were on Wednesday night considering a high-stakes tilt at the Labor leadership, as supporters on both sides frantically sought to lock in crucial votes before the final sitting day of Parliament. Senior Labor figures, including Trade Minister Craig Emerson, Immigration Minister Brendan O'Connor, and Right faction convenor Don Farrell, embarked on a charm offensive on Wednesday to shore up support for Ms Gillard among worried Labor MPs. But their case was undermined by the troubled passage of the media reforms, with key bills struggling for crossbench support last night.


















Refugees

Border Protection Command intercepting vessels


Minister for Home Affairs





HMAS Pirie, operating under the control of Border Protection Command, intercepted a suspected irregular entry vessel west-north-west of Darwin overnight.










Asylum seeker families in fear

Gemma Jones - The Daily Telegraph





Terrified asylum-seeker families who feel threatened being housed near violent males on remote Manus Island have led to a transfer halt of single Middle Eastern men to PNG. The Australian government has responded to concerns raised by the PNG government over outbursts at the centre, which now has a constant police presence, an official has revealed. No asylum seekers have been sent to the strife-plagued Manus Island centre for more than a month.














Religious Freedom & Persecution

Boko Haram destroyed 50 churches


UPI





Boko Haram militants in Nigeria destroyed 50 of Borno state's Catholic churches, a priest charged. The Rev. Jerome Ituah of Christ the King Catholic Parish in Kurudu, a populated area of the Abuja Capital Territory, made the accusation Saturday, saying he witnessed the destruction, Leadership Newspapers reported. "Out of the 52 Catholic churches in Maiduguri diocese, 50 of them have been destroyed by Boko Haram.










Pastor Saeed's Wife: 'No Heart to Tell Kids Daddy Might Never Survive'

Anugrah Kumar - Christian Post





Naghmeh, the wife of U.S. Pastor Saeed Abedini, who is serving eight years in a deadly prison in Iran for his faith, broke down as she testified on Capitol Hill, saying she has no heart to tell their kids that daddy might never survive if the government fails to protect him. "Saeed is a husband and amazing father," Naghmeh told a standing-room only crowd at the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the U.S. Congress on Friday. "The kids and I miss him terribly. Our kids hold onto the hope of seeing their daddy very soon," she said, struggling unsuccessfully to hold back her tears.










Nigeria: Five shot dead in attack on Christian area

Morning Star News





Christian children fleeing from gunmen saved their lives by hiding among the rock formations towering over the eastern side of this northern village, but a 6-month-old baby and a 13-year-old girl never got the chance. The infant, Alexander Blessed, and the girl, Happiness Adamu, were the youngest of five people from five churches who were slain. Christians were still gathered in and about a home where a funeral for the village chief had taken place in the predominantly Muslim state of Kaduna when, under cover of darkness on a Saturday night (Feb. 23), marauding, black-clad gunmen arrived from the west and began firing.














Sexual sation of Society

Teenage girls pressured to look like porn stars


Lucy Kippist - news.com.au





Pornography is destroying young women's confidence and creating a culture where women need to dress like porn stars to impress men. Dr Gomathi Sitharthan, a professor of sexual health at the University of Sydney, said unlimited access to porn has distorted young people's views of sex and relationships and has long-term effects. "If a girl seems to like being treated roughly, has sex with five guys, has sex with the pool guy or the pizza delivery fellow five seconds after they meet - inform them that it only happens in movies. This is not the norm," said Dr Sitharthan.