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.



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Abortion

Abortion law strikes right balance on referrals


Anne O'Rourke - The Age





Calls and arguments for the repealing of section 8 of the Abortion Law Reform Act are wrong. The section achieves the right balance between two important but competing rights: the obligation to refer a patient protects conscientious objection by allowing objecting doctors to refuse service, but not frustrating a woman's right to reproductive health services.






Abortion report ignores the rights of babies

Christian Today





The Australian Christian Lobby said it’s disappointed a Tasmanian parliamentary report on abortion missed the key issue in the debate over decriminalising abortion – the baby. ACL’s Tasmanian Director Mark Brown said the finding by the upper house standing committee report into the Reproductive Health (Access to Terminations) Bill 2013 failed to make an adequate case to remove abortion from the criminal code.










No one 'wants' to have an abortion

Tracey Spicer - The Hoopla





It is said that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. This is especially true in the case of abortion law. Just when you think the battle has been fought, and won, someone puts his head above the parapet.






Abortion objection fines 'excessive'

Calla Wahlquist - The Examiner







Proposed $32,500 fines for counsellors who have a conscientious objection to abortion and refuse to refer a woman considering termination to another service are excessive, a Legislative Council committee report has said. But the committee found that other controversial aspects of proposed abortion reforms, such as the proposed protest-free access zones, were necessary, and that doctors were already required under professional codes not to interfere with access to a termination and a requirement that they refer on could be fulfilled by offering patients a pamphlet.






No, Doctor, women having abortions don't deserve to die

Beth Wilson - SMH





Apparently there is an Australian-registered medical practitioner who believes women like me should die because of having had an abortion. Henrietta Cook writes of a Facebook conversation between Daniel Mathews, a lecturer at Monash University and a founding member of WikiLeaks, and another doctor who, when asked about a scenario where a woman dies after a backyard abortion, responded with, “Yep. And that's exactly what she deserved for trying to kill her own child.”










Children & Family

'Laws to blame' for low adoption rates


AAP





Australia has one of the lowest adoption rates in the world, but actress Deborra-Lee Furness says the federal government can change this by introducing laws that make it easier. Ms Furness said current laws, which vary between states, make it difficult for kids to be adopted and has contributed to fewer adoptions.












Attitudes to adoption key to abortion battle

Emilie Ng - Catholic Leader





Abortion will end when the attitude towards adoption changes, guest speak-er Dr Joanna Howe said at the Cherish Life Queensland fundraising dinner on November 8. Dr Howe, 30, is a law lecturer at the Uni-versity of Adelaide, and a former NSW Rhod-es Scholar. In her address, Dr Howe said there were three motivations for reforming adoption laws in Australia - abortions, IVF and foster care.














Classification

It's violent and gory - so should under-12s see new Hunger Games movie?


Emma Lowe - Daily Mail





With a public execution, a violent beating and frenzied animals, it hardly sounds like ideal entertainment for children. But film censors appear to think otherwise – granting The Hunger Games: Catching Fire a 12A rating, which means it can be seen by under-12s if they are with an adult. Yesterday, critics attacked those behind the film for glamorising violence and exposing the young target audience to ‘unnecessarily graphic’ scenes.






CEO of Australia's video games peak body talks classification

SMH





Earlier this year, I got the chance to sit down with Ron Curry, CEO of the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association, which is an industry-funded peak body that represents video game publishers in Australia. In the first part of this lengthy two-part interview, the main focus of our discussion was the R18+ rating for video games, and how the classification system in Australia is still in need of extensive reform.














Drugs & Alcohol

Deadlier than ever: Welcome to the new ice age


Candace Sutton - News Ltd





Out among the new addicts whose young lives are spiralling away in psychosis, at border control checkpoints which increasingly uncover it hidden in bizarre consignments, in the wastelands of public housing where it is the drug of choice. Methamphetamine is entering a new and deadly age of addiction in Australia. Drug seizures of amphetamines at Australian borders are at record levels.


















Human Rights

Saudi Arabia, Cuba, People's Republic of China Will Join UN 'Human Rights' Council


Patrick Goodenough - CNS News





By the end of Tuesday, a handful of countries notorious for blocking human rights promotion at home and abroad will have rejoined the U.N. Human Rights Council.
















Marriage

Same-sex marriage laws: grounds for High Court challenge revealed


Michael Inman - The Canberra Times





The Federal Government has filed written submissions on its challenge to the ACT’s same-sex marriage laws in the High Court. The written submissions reveal the Commonwealth will challenge the ACT law on several grounds, including conflict with the Marriage and Family Law Acts. The Commonwealth argues it is not open to the territory to “purport to clothe with legal status of marriage a union of persons, whether mimicking or modifying any of those essential requirements of marriage”.










Gay icon Dennis Altman attacks marriage equality movement

Benjamin Riley - Star Observer







Dennis Altman and Anna BrownGay academic, activist and icon Dennis Altman launched a scathing attack against the marriage equality movement at a public event in Melbourne last week, arguing it takes focus away from more important issues and further marginalises LGBTI people not in long term relationships.














Overseas Aid

Australia: Rationalising Australia's overseas development program


Josephine Heesh - Mondaq







The latest budgetary and structural reforms of AusAID will alter Australia's overseas development assistance program. Of significant note is the Foreign Affairs Minister, Julie Bishop's, announcement of a $600 million cut to this year's foreign aid budget and the limitation of further foreign aid investment over the next 4 years of forward estimates. This totals $4.5 billion in cuts over 4 years, which will see a fall in aid spending of up to 0.31% of gross national income (GNI): different from the former government's target of having foreign aid grow to 0.5% GNI.
















Politics

Electricity Bill, Typhoon Tony and Dolores Umbridge: the name calling begins


Jacqueline Maley - SMH





Bronwyn Bishop spoke with characteristic archness. "We have had," she said, "a display of [the] new energetic nature of the opposition."






Kevin Rudd calls time on a turbulent political career

Sid Maher - The Australian





An emotional Kevin Rudd has announced he will leave parliament this week, naming the apology to the Stolen Generations as the highlight of his prime ministership and saying it was time he gave something back to his family.












Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Councillor wants to stop more brothels coming to Willoughby before it becomes Sydney's next red light district


Lauren Murada - Daily Telegraph





Is Willoughby the next red light district of Sydney? According to Naremburn councillor Nic Wright it is well on its way and he is urging Willoughby Council to take action to prevent the number of brothels from increasing. Outnumbering all its north shore counterparts, the Willoughby local government area has nine brothels across the local government area. The council has recently considered banning sex services premises in industrial areas, but Cr Wright said it wasn't enough.
















Religious Freedom & Persecution

Surge in kidnappings of Egypt’s Christians


Catholic World News







Abductions of Christians near Minya, a city in central Egypt, have surged in the months following the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi, The Christian Science Monitor reported. Nearly 100 area Christians have been kidnapped since the Arab Spring began, with a spike occurring in recent months.










Sexualisation of Society

I am trying to protect my daughter from this message


Mia Freedman - Mamamia





Have you heard? Little girls are making YouTube videos pleading with strangers to pass judgement on their looks. “Am I ugly or pretty, be honest,” they ask timidly. “People tell me I’m ugly. So tell me – am I?” whispers one girl. “All my friends say ‘you’re so pretty’, but I kinda think I’m ugly, so I wanna know what you guys think,” explains another. It’s heart-breaking and yet I’m not remotely shocked or surprised. Because we did this.










Loner Alan Davies caught with 156,000 child pornography files

Steve Butcher - The Age





A computer technician who downloaded child pornography almost daily for 15 years in his north-suburban Melbourne home has pleaded guilty to charges involving about 156,000 files. "Loner" Alan Davies' "vast" pornography collection was seized from two computers earlier this year when Australian Federal Police raided his Preston house and he immediately confessed his conduct.














Other

ACT govt considers third gender category


Lisa Cox - The Canberra Times





The ACT government is considering laws to recognise intersex and transgender people in identity documents. Attorney-General Simon Corbell hopes to introduce changes to the Births, Deaths and Marriages Act in the Legislative Assembly's final sitting week for the year later this month. The proposal would create a third category ''indeterminate, intersex, unspecified'' for birth certificates. If passed by the Legislative Assembly the proposal would pave the way for amendments to the territory's new same-sex marriage law to allow for ''gender-diverse'' marriages.












Victims vindicated as church sex abuse inquiry delivers

Barney Zwartz - The Age





It began slowly, amid some well-merited cynicism, but on Wednesday the Victorian inquiry into how the churches handled child sexual abuse delivered – and brilliantly. Many of the victims who followed the inquiry religiously throughout its dozens of public sessions were almost euphoric after the report, Betrayal of Trust, was tabled in parliament and committee members rose to excoriate the concealers and enablers, and to recommend far-reaching reforms.








What Pope Francis means for the Church in the modern world

Frank Brennan - ABC





Pope Francis is not watering down the teachings of the Church. Rather, he admits honestly that we hold in tension definitive teachings and pastoral yearnings, held together by mercy and forgiveness.