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

The Impossible Choice

60 Minutes

It's the toughest choice any woman could make.

You've tried so hard to get pregnant and suddenly you have an instant family — two, three even more little lives,a multiple pregnancy.

It's either the ultimate gift or a terrible burden.

For many women, they have no choice, it would simply be too dangerous to carry all the babies full term.



Donor Conception and Surrogacy

Surrogate mum's toughest journey

News-mail

BUNDABERG mother-of-two Melissah Smith knows the joys of being a parent, but she knows many others will never get that chance.

That is why when she gives birth to a baby girl on Thursday, she will hand her over to a New South Wales husband and wife who are unable to conceive their own child.

Mrs Smith is a surrogate, a woman who has given up more than a year of her life to go through testing, psychiatric assessments, nine months of pregnancy and finally birth, all so two strangers can have a family.



Indian surrogate for US woman dies in Gurjarat

Bioedge

Indian IVF clinics are glad to showcase their bevies of happy surrogate mothers who have become pregnant for foreign couples, heterosexual and homosexual, and singles, male and female, who want children. But not necessarily the surrogates who die.

This week 30-year-old Premila Vaghela, who took on the job to support her own two children, died in the eighth month of her pregnancy of unexplained complications.



Drugs & Alcohol

Should the Government decriminalise drugs

Brisbane- National Times

For half a century Australia relied heavily on drug-law enforcement to control drugs. There were six heroin-overdose deaths in 1964 but about 400 every year this century. Australia's problems with heroin developed after we prohibited the drug (in 1953). Consumption of every illicit drug is greater now than it was when we started our war on drugs in the 1970s. Australian governments now spend more than $3 billion a year responding to illicit drugs, with 75 per cent going on law enforcement (customs, police, courts, prisons).



Two-thirds opposed to easing of drug laws

Mark Metherell, Lisa Davies - SMH

AUSTRALIANS remain firmly against relaxing illicit drug laws despite declarations by a group of eminent Australians and a global commission that the war on drugs has failed.

A Herald/Nielsen poll has found two-thirds of Australians oppose decriminalisation.



An Instructional video on how to order drugs, on Youtube taken off

Thomas Chamberlain - Courier Mail.

AN INSTRUCTIONAL video on how to order illegal drugs online was posted on YouTube by an Australian man and viewed by more than 65,000 people. The film from "Adam Freelance" was online for almost a year until being removed last week after The Sunday Mail sought comment from YouTube about it. YouTube said users were the "first line of defence" in reporting issues, but it could not say why the video had remained online since last August.



Marriage

Marriage for four put to Senate

Ean Higgins – The Australian

THE power couple of Australia's increasingly open polyamorous community, Rebecca and James Dominguez, have made Senate submissions urging the legalisation of same-sex marriage, as they promote greater acceptance of multiple-partner relationships.

The couple have led the way in publicly outlining their own journey from monogamous marriage to one in which each has another lover as well.



Most Australian voters back gay marriage according to a Galaxy poll commissioned by The Sunday Telegraph

Samantha Maiden – The Daily Telegraph

MOST Australian voters back gay marriage but Julia Gillard is unlikely to secure a poll bounce if she follows US President Barack Obama's lead by embracing reform.

According to a Galaxy poll commissioned by The Sunday Telegraph, 50 per cent of voters surveyed now support laws allowing same-sex couples to marry in Australia.



Black Civil Rights Movement endorses Obama's stance on same sex marriage.

Julie Bykowisc. Blomberg

The NAACP, the oldest and largest black civil rights group in the U.S., yesterday endorsed same- sex marriage. Its board of directors voted to adopt a resolution that the group would support marriage equality and oppose local, state or national legislative efforts to block gay marriage. “Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law,” NAACP President Ben Jealous said in a statement.



Kirby's views shaped my same-sex stance, Shorten says

Richard Willingham – Canberra Times

Senior government Minister Bill Shorten has been ''heavily influenced'' by the views of high-profile gay marriage advocate and retired High Court judge Michael Kirby in forming his position on the upcoming same-sex marriage vote.

The Workplace Relation Minister said that although he had no definite opinion on the matter, he predicted in 20 years' time people would look back and wonder what all the current fuss and debate was about.



Lesbian Senator and Joe Hockey head to head

Care 2

An exchange between Australia’s Finance Minister Senator Penny Wong and her political shadow during a political panel show is stirring huge interest. One line from Wong, whose partner Sophie had a baby last December, has particularly hit home: “I know what my family is worth.” It is already available on t-shirts and coffee mugs. The Sydney Morning Herald called the exchange a “watershed.”



Politics

Liberal Senator Heffernan accused of Assault.

ABC Online.

Liberal Senator Bill Heffernan has been accused of attacking a suspended electorate officer at a branch meeting on the New South Wales central coast. Ray Carter, who worked for New South Wales Energy Minister Chris Hartcher, has signed a statutory declaration claiming Senator Heffernan knocked him off balance during the meeting.Mr Carter also alleges Senator Heffernan approached him at the end of the meeting, saying he did not know that Mr Carter was a "poofter."



Gay rights advocates question LNP's motives

Marissa Calligeros – Brisbane Times

Gay rights advocates have questioned the Newman government’s real motive for cutting funding to the state’s only health organisation dedicated to the prevention of AIDS/HIV among the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

The state government withdrew $2.5 million in funding to the Queensland Association of Healthy Communities, with the announcement it will create a Ministerial Advisory Committee on HIV/AIDS to review and redirect awareness and prevention campaigns.



Bob Katter tells Sydney Writers Festival audience with Kevin Rudd that he regrets homophobic ads aired by party

The Daily Telegraph

MAVERICK federal MP Bob Katter told an audience with former prime minister Kevin Rudd he will regret homophobic advertisements aired by his party "for the rest of my days".

Mr Katter's Australia Party's ads, of a pixelated black and white image of an older gay man with a young lover, went to air during the Queensland election campaign in March.



Refugees

State Labor slams PM on 'risk refugees'

Farrah Tomazin, SMH

REFUGEES deemed by ASIO to be security threats and placed in indefinite detention must immediately be given access to an appeals process, the Victorian ALP urged yesterday.



Coptic family stay in Australia after lengthy deportation battle.

Joihn Dagge. Herald Sun

AN eight-year battle to call Australia home has finally been won by an Egyptian family who faced deportation despite their daughter being born here and violent clashes in their former homeland. Coptic Christians Antoun Nahal and Dalia Abdel Sayed, their Australian-born daughter, Rita, 7, and her grandmother, Nabila Soliman, were granted permanent residency last week after earlier being ordered to return to a strife-plagued Egypt.



Sexualisation of Society

Net porn exposure linked to risky sex

Natasha Rudra - SMH

Studies are showing an increasing link between internet porn and risky sexual behaviour in young teens, researchers say.

And with nearly one-third of Australian children exposed to online porn by the time they are 16, the internet is exerting new pressures on teens when it comes to making decisions about sex.