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.



Health group gets green light to import abortion drug into Australia

Stephanie Peatling - SMH

The so-called abortion drug RU486 will be widely available to Australian women after the Therapeutic Goods Administration approved an application to import the drug by a company set up by the reproductive health group Marie Stopes International. A ministerial veto over the drug was lifted by Parliament in 2006 but the drug has had only very limited availability because just a handful of individual general practitioners were granted permission to import and prescribe the drug.

Abortion drug RU486 makes TGA register


The abortion drug RU486 is now on the Therapeutic Goods Administration's register, meaning it will be more widely available to Australian women. The drug, which has been available in Australia for six years, was previously only allowed to be imported and prescribed by a handful of GPs. But an application by reproductive health group Marie Stopes International was successful, meaning it will now be more widely available.

Adverse effects to women of RU 486 down-played as abortion provider granted import license

Lyle Shelton - International

The granting of a licence to import the chemical abortion drug RU 486 to a subsidiary of the world’s biggest abortion provider is not in the best interest of women, according to the Australian Christian Lobby. ACL spokeswoman Wendy Francis said the Therapeutic Goods Administration had seriously erred in granting a licence to Marie Stopes International to import RU 486.

Should RU486 be available on the PBS?


FOR: Dr Deborah Bateson is medical director of Family Planning NSW.

AGAINST: Dr Renate Klein co-author of 'RU486: Misconceptions, Myths and Morals', Spinifex Press.

Children & Family

Child protection heroes honoured in Qld

More than 70 children from across the world have been saved from horrendous sexual abuse thanks to the grim work of Paul Griffiths. Mr Griffiths is one of seven people who received Child Protection Week awards at a ceremony at Queensland Parliament House on Thursday. The former British police officer began work in 2009 as a victim identification officer for Taskforce Argos, which in 2011 busted one of the world's largest child pornography websites and led to children being rescued around the world.

Drugs & Alcohol

Victorians openly admit to boozing at dangerous levels on a new state government website

Peter Mickelburough - Herald Sun

Victorians are boozing at dangerous levels and openly admitting it on a new State Government online drinking assessment site. Almost four in 10 admit to drinking five or more standard drinks in a session at least once a week.


Euthanasia expert Philip Nitschke accused of gas import scam

Dennis Shanahan - The Australian

Euthanasia advocate Philip Nitschke faces a second inquiry that could lead to his being barred from medical practice, after authorities were notified of the use of a sham beer-brewing company to import nitrogen cylinders capable of being used for suicide. Max Dog Brewing, which has a red cattle dog advertising logo, has been advertised on euthanasia websites as able to provide the tanks, which are compatible with plastic bags used for suffocation. Dr Nitschke is at present under investigation for an application to import the sedative nembutal to use as a sleeping pill for a terminally ill patient.


Get rid of race to stop racism

Marcia Langton - The Australian

Defining Aboriginal people as a race, as the Constitution does, sets up the conditions for indigenous people to be treated, not just as different but exceptional, and inherently incapable of joining the Australian polity and society.


ACT in knots on gay marriage as Tassie puts a ring on it

Noel Towell - The Canberra Times

The election battle over gay marriage intensified at an Australian Christian Lobby forum in Canberra last night, with Chief Minister Katy Gallagher and Opposition Leader Zed Seselja clashing over the issue. Just hours after the Tasmanian Parliament passed marriage equality laws, Mr Seselja pledged his party's commitment to the ''traditional definition'' of marriage while Ms Gallagher vowed to continue to pursue an end to ''discrimination''.

Tas: Same-sex marriage bill passed

Dinah Arndt - The Examiner

The Legislative Council is now the final hurdle to Tasmania becoming the first place in Australia to allow same-sex marriage. Across the nation, people watched four hours of live debate in the House of Assembly before the Same Sex Marriage Bill was passed 13 votes to 11. The Legislative Council is expected to debate the bill late next month with that vote anticipated to go down to the wire.


Julia Gillard's recovery hangs on shifting the political debate

Steven Scott - The Courier-Mail

The carbon tax and asylum seekers are the two enduring political problems that have dogged Julia Gillard throughout her time as prime minister. It is unlikely there is anything she can do to win these debates before the election next year. Labor's best hope now is to placate the public enough so that it can shift voters' attention to issues where it feels it has an advantage, like education, health and workplace relations, but time is running out for Gillard to perform this political manoeuvre.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Brothel owner to settle $2.2m suit

Vanda Carson - The Daily Telegraph

Brothel owner and professional punter Eddie Hayson is set to settle his $2.2 million lawsuit brought by a group of four private investors, including rival escort and brothel owners. The group planned to buy a stake in Hayson’s Camperdown brothel Stiletto before its planned stockmarket float. Brisbane accountant George Theodore’s company Trystar, which is trustee for the four investors, claimed Hayson failed to repay the money when the share sale and float was aborted.

Campaign starts to kick Korean prostitutes out of Australia

Na Jeong-ju - Korean Times

Korean communities in Australia are campaigning to call for a crackdown on Korean prostitutes who have entered the country on working holiday visas. More than 2,000 Koreans living in Australia have expressed their willingness to join a street campaign in Sydney, an alliance of the communities said Thursday. “It’s known that about 1,000 Korean prostitutes are working in Australia. That’s about 17 percent of all prostitutes in the country,” the group said in a statement.

NSW brothel plan health disaster: Greens


A NSW government proposal for state licensing of brothels would force the sex industry underground, leading to increased rates of HIV and other infections, the Greens say. The Department of Premier and Cabinet and an inter-agency working party are looking at ways to improve regulation of the industry, including licensing brothels through a new state brothel licensing authority. The Australian Christian Lobby supported the government's push to crackdown on illegal brothels but said instead of supporting legal operations it should be discouraging prostitution.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Pakistan blasphemy case girl examined by doctors

Dan Wooding - ASSIST News

Doctors in Pakistan have examined a young Christian girl imprisoned on blasphemy charges to determine her age and mental capacity, with the results due to be presented in court today. According to the BBC, her lawyer says the girl, called Rimsha, is 11 or 12 years old and appears to have Down’s syndrome. “She is being held in a maximum security prison after an angry mob accused her of desecrating pages of the Koran. But her supporters say she has been wrongly accused,” said the BBC.

Islamic terror driving Christians out of Mali

Catholic World News

The Vatican newspaper has called attention to the flight of Christians escaping Islamic persecution in Mali. As many as 200,000 Christians from Mali have found their way to refugee camps in Algeria and Mauritania, L’Osservatore Romano reports. Christian families are seeking a safe haven as Islamic terrorists, with links to Al Qaida, become increasingly active in the northern regions of Mali.


Navy scours sea for survivors near Indonesia as 100 feared dead

Paul Maley - The Australian

Australian navy personnel were last night searching for survivors from the latest asylum-seeker disaster amid fears more than 100 men, women and children had perished at sea after their boat sank off the coast of Indonesia. As the desperate rescue effort continued, a delegation of Australian officials was preparing to travel to Indonesia to clarify Australia's role in responding to disasters within Indonesian waters after it took rescuers nearly 24 hours to locate survivors from yesterday's sinking.

Questions over slow response to asylum seeker distress call

Phillip Coorey and Michael Bachelard - SMH

More than 100 asylum seekers are feared dead and questions are being asked about Indonesia's search and rescue capacity after survivors were discovered almost 24 hours after they first issued a distress call while only eight nautical miles off the coast of Java. Last night authorities reported that only 37 survivors had been found among the 150 people believed to be on the boat bound for Christmas Island.

Sexualisation of Society

Declare yourself insulted

Danielle Binks - Melinda Tankard Reist Blog

You know the one thing that’s more insulting than blatantly sexist/misogynistic advertising? Advertising that touts pseudo-feminism but sends the exact same bigoted message, only cloaking it in women’s liberation to soften the blow.


Five Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan

Phillip Hudson and Steven Scott - News Limited Network

Five Australian soldiers died in the worst 24-hour period of Australia's decade-long involvement in Afg anistan, hurting defence force morale and raising comparisons to the Vietnam war. Three soldiers - including two in their early 20s on their first tour of duty - were gunned down in Oruzgan province by a man wearing an Afghan National Army uniform. Two others were injured and the gunman is on the run.

Charlotte Dawson: Social media on trial

David Penberthy - The Punch

The fact that Charlotte Dawson has been hospitalised after sustaining a particularly putrid and distressing wave of online abuse should force a serious discussion about our air-headed enthusiasm for social media. On one hand, social media has created a terrific vehicle for like-minded people to come together and share their lives and discuss issues of common interest. At the same time, the ability to have unfettered communication with total strangers has created an easy and powerful platform for the maladjusted to have twisted sport at the expense of others.

US: Combative Ryan warms to his task on familiar ground

Nick O'Malley - SMH

It was good enough. Paul Ryan did not provoke the same geyser of excitement that Sarah Palin did four years ago, but in the most important speech of his life the new Republican vice-presidential candidate excited his audience, challenged the President, championed his leader and honoured his God, all to warm and sometimes tumultuous applause.

Chinese consortium to pay less than $300m for Cubbie Station

Jamie Walker - The Australian

Queensland's giant Cubbie cotton station will be sold to the Chinese for less than the mooted price tag of $300 million-plus, insiders to the controversial deal say. The Foreign Investment Review Board is believed to have recommended to the federal government that the sale be allowed, with an announcement due within days.

Parents protest Islamic school's finances

Leo Shanahan - The Australian

Parents and ex-students yesterday gathered at the nation's largest Muslim school to protest against the alleged mismanagement of the college's finances. The group, mostly mothers, gathered in front of the Malek Fahd school in Sydney's southwest amid ongoing financial concerns at the school of more than 2000 students, which is managed by the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils.