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 article does not represent ACL endorsement of the content.



 







ABORTION

Abortion ‘does not raise’ mental health risk

Jane Dreaper - BBC News

Abortion does not raise the risk of a woman suffering mental health problems, a major review by experts concludes.


Are 98% of UK abortions “technical illegal”?

Michael Cook - Bio Edge

The keenness of British journalists to score exclusives and to run down the last details of stories are legendary – or at least they are now, after the News of the World phone hacking scandal. Which is what makes the ho-hum coverage of this week’s report on mental health and abortion in the UK so puzzling.


EDUCATION

Time for action: school funding rules to change

Misha Schubert - Sydney Morning Herald

Australia needs a ''game-changing approach'' to the way schools are funded because the system is ''letting down some of our kids'' - particularly in public schools, the Education Minister, Peter Garrett, says.


Mother’s crusade against Bibles at Urangan State High School sparks Education Queensland review

Tanya Chilcott - The Courier Mail

A mother who took Education Queensland to task over Bibles being handed out at a school assembly has influenced a review of the state's religious instruction policy.  Birgette Linding said she was mortified when her daughter came home earlier this year and recounted how Gideons Bibles had been handed out to students at the end of a Year 8 assembly at Urangan State High School.


EUTHANASIA

Is the slippery slope at work in Belgium?

Michael Cook - Bio Edge

The “slippery slope” is often derided as a logical fallacy. But when one of the leading advocacy groups for euthanasia in Belgium posts an article entitled “Euthanasie: tijd voor de volgende stap, Euthanasia, time for the next step”, it’s hard not to think that it may not be so illogical after all.


MARRIAGE

No free vote on gay marriage - Abbott

Malcolm Farr - news.com.au

Tony Abbott will oppose a conscience vote on gay marriage and will bind Coalition MPs to an election pledge not to change the present law. The Opposition Leader wants political space to attack Prime Minister Julia Gillard, as he did on carbon pricing, with the charge she is breaking faith with voters.


Marriage traditions, forever evolving

Marion Diamond - The Drum

Two very different but significant decisions were made in Australia last week which have a bearing on the nature of marriage. Firstly on November 30 the High Court overturned 'spousal privilege', the common law right of a spouse (in this and virtually every case, the wife) to refuse to give evidence against her husband. Secondly the Australian Labor Party voted on December 3 to include same-sex marriage in its federal platform (while reserving a conscience vote that will ensure nothing actually changes). Throw in a third - Andrew Fraser's private member's bill to legalise civil unions for same-sex couples in Queensland on December 1 - and something interesting seems to be going on.


POLITICS

Ticking off on a tough year, confident voters will see the benefits

Dennis Shanahan - The Australian

A more confident and secure Julia Gillard is hoping to turn 2012 into a year of demonstration and distribution: a demonstration of the worth of all this year's tough and difficult decisions and a distribution of the benefits of the carbon and mining taxes.


Payback fear in wider Gillard reshuffle

Stephanie Peatling - The Sydney Morning Herald

Julia Gillard will announce a new cabinet as early as today with ministers bracing themselves for a more dramatic reshuffle than was previously anticipated. ''There are more changes than people first thought,'' one senior minister said yesterday. ''There's a bit of a concern from some that there's payback going on.''


REFUGEES

Bowen blames Coalition for boat surge

AAP

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen says fresh boat arrivals will put added pressure on detention centres and insists the opposition is to blame.


Battle to stem the tide

Paul Kelly - The Australian

A strange fate has befallen the Labor Party on boat arrivals - government policy is now a shambles, with arrivals at a record high, yet the ALP national conference has voted for a new and firm offshore processing policy that means better border security down the track.


RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

Archbishop: Fate of Christians is Arab Spring ‘litmus test’

David Sapsted - The National

The treatment of Egyptian Copts and other Christians in North Africa and the Middle East would be the "litmus test" that determines the success or failure of the Arab Spring, the head of the worldwide Anglican church says.  Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, warned that Christians in the Middle East were "more vulnerable than they had been for centuries".