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.



Manslaughter counts for unborn babies

Anna Patty, Melissa Davey - SMH

People could be charged with killing or hurting unborn children under a controversial new law set to be considered in Parliament. The proposed legislation has been named Zoe's Law in honour of the unborn child of Brodie Donegan, a central coast woman who was eight months pregnant on Christmas Day in 2009 when a driver on drugs ran over her. Zoe was stillborn as a result of the injuries suffered by her mother, but the driver was not charged with Zoe's death because the law did not recognise her as a person.

Risk as women buy abortion drug RU486 online and have home abortions alone

Tory Shepherd - Adelaide Now

Women are buying abortion drug RU486 online and having abortions on their own at home because they cannot afford a doctor's prescription or cannot get to a clinic. The drug Mifepristone, also known as RU486, has been controversial since 2006 when then-health minister Tony Abbott effectively banned it. In 2009, a Queensland woman was charged with procuring her own abortion after she got RU486 from overseas relatives. Now it is available in Australia through some doctors and it is widely available on the internet.

Cheap ‘baby killing drugs’ plan blasted

Damir Govorcin - Catholic Weekly

The move to subsidise abortion drugs RU486 and GyMiso is anti-children, anti-women, and anti-family, says Bishop Julian Porteous, auxiliary bishop of Sydney. “These drugs are not medicines as they are not used for the treatment of disease or illness: they are used to kill babies and have also caused deaths among women,” he said.

Nile shows stark abortion images

SMH Anna Patty

The Christian Democrat MP Fred Nile has launched a graphic campaign against abortion, forcing the government to consider a series of laws he will introduce to Parliament this session. The Nile bills include one which would require women to undergo counselling and to view an ultrasound of the unborn child before proceeding with an abortion in cases of a healthy pregnancy. Another bill would require that women be told that abortion causes pain to the unborn child.

Charities & NFP

Backpackers in charity bludge

Linda Silmalis - The Sunday Telegraph

They've long been admired for their resourcefulness on the road, but now backpackers are taking food from the mouths of the homeless. Scores of travellers are lining up each night at a Sydney mobile food van to take advantage of free meals being offered to the destitute. Eight backpackers were seen on two nights last week using the Exodus Foundation night food van service at the Domain carpark. After receiving a bag of food, some of the backpackers wandered back to the nearby Elephant Backpacker Hostel, while others sat by the road eating.

Children & Family

Labor plans to help parents returning to work after children

Brendan Nicholson - The Australian

The Gillard government will legislate soon to make it harder for employers to refuse to allow new parents the right to work part time. Julia Gillard foreshadowed the move as one of a number of workplace relations announcements, which will also include ensuring employees are consulted more about roster changes. “In the week to come the government will be making a number of announcements about workplace relations,” the Prime Minister said before leaving New Zealand after two days of talks with her New Zealand counterpart, John Key.

Aussie kids online about two hours a day


How long do your children spend in front of a computer every day? According to research from Telstra, Aussie kids aged between 10 and 17 are online for an average two hours a day - among the highest internet usage rates in the world. Telstra's general manager of digital inclusion, Jill Riseley, says with so many children now online it is important for parents to teach them how to be good "digital citizens".


US: Assisted suicide bills gain traction in 6 states

Cheryl K. Chumley - The Washington Times

At least six states are considering bills to legalize physician-assisted suicide, a reflection of a growing national shift in attitude toward a procedure that was once regarded more in terms of killing, than compassion. Massachusetts, more than any other state, is seen as opening the doors to discussion, according to an Associated Press report. A ballot measure to legalize the procedure failed in the state last year, but it did bring about national discussion, AP said. Combine that with the increasing number of baby boomers who are facing ailing health, and the mood of the nation is ripe for laws that legalize physician-assisted suicides, analysts say.


Miami circuit judge OK's plan for gay man, lesbian couple to be on daughter's birth certificate

Steve Rothaus - Miami Herald

A Miami-Dade circuit judge has approved a private adoption allowing three people — a gay man and a married lesbian couple — to be listed on the birth certificate of their 23-month-old daughter. “We’re creating entirely new concepts of families. If you have two women seeking to be listed as Parent One and Parent Two, that does not exclude listing a man as father,” said Miami family lawyer Karyn J. Begin, who represented dad Massimiliano “Massimo” Gerina in a two-year paternity case involving lesbian friends who had his baby.

From a man of the French left, a passionate defence of marriage

Mary O'Neill Le Rumeur - MercatorNet

It would take a miracle to prevent "gay marriage" becoming legal in France. The Socialist Government has a comfortable majority in the National Assembly and in the Senate, and President Hollande intends to impose his desire to legalise homosexual marriage. But the French are battling the project tooth and nail, and hoping for that miracle. Monasteries are praying day and night while people who never took part in a demonstration in all their lives are out on the streets with banners insisting, "Every child needs a mother AND a father".


Fancy a new title? Nile follows in Obeid's footsteps

Anna Patty - SMH

While the Reverend Nile denies he does deals with the government, there is a view that it owes him for his support in passing the controversial bills that allow the sale of electricity generators and the accommodation of Jamie Packer's casino interests. Just as his colleagues in the Legislative Assembly prefer to be known as MPs rather than MLAs, Mr Nile believes members of the Legislative Council would be better served with the title ''senator''. Mr Nile, who has had a tilt at Federal Parliament, may yet come to share the title held by his Canberra colleagues. If nothing else, it will save him having to explain that being an MLC has nothing to do with being an insurance salesman.

With friends like these ...

Alex Mitchell - SMH

Alex Mitchell charts the long rise of Eddie Obeid from obscurity to the glare of the ICAC, and the ALP powerbrokers who helped along the way.

Julie Bishop says women can't have it all

Jordan Baker - The Sunday Telegraph

It's the question women tie themselves in knots over, but Julie Bishop has a simple answer: "No, you can't have it all." The deputy opposition leader, who has no children, said she understands the dilemma facing young career women and revealed the difficult choices she has made during a high-flying career in law and politics. As Attorney-General Nicola Roxon announced she was resigning to spend more time with her daughter, Ms Bishop said she agrees with a US academic who argues it's impossible for women to have top careers and be mothers unless they are rich, self-employed or super human.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

The lure of a fresh start ended at a north shore brothel, court told

Stephanie Gardiner - SMH

A trial has revealed claims of modern-day slavery behind the surface polish of the north shore: women allegedly shipped in, told to perform unprotected sex acts and forced to pay off debts to their madam. The alleged madam of the Willoughby brothel called Diamonds is accused of bringing six Malaysian women to Australia, who worked 20-hour days for no money until they had paid $5000 in debts to the brothel, the Downing District Court heard this week.

Breaking the silence - Child sexual abuse in India

Human Rights Watch

This 82-page report examines how current government responses are falling short, both in protecting children from sexual abuse and treating victims. Many children are effectively mistreated a second time by traumatic medical examinations and by police and other authorities who do not want to hear or believe their accounts.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

19 Christian children rescued from Islamic traffickers in Bangladesh

BosNewsLife Asia Service

Nineteen Christian children who were to be sold to Islamic boarding schools ('madrassas') in Bangladesh have been rescued, a religious rights group said Thursday, February 7. Traffickers lied to the children's parents saying they would take the children to Christian boarding schools in the capital Dhaka, when in fact, they were intending to sell the children to the various madrassas, explained International Christian Concern (ICC). Students from Dhaka University reportedly discovered the children, ages 5 to 12, and rescued them Sunday, February 3.

Chinese govt stil set on eradicating Christians

Charlie Butts - OneNewsNow

The figures of an annual survey show that persecution of Christians in China has worsened. But there is cautious optimism for the future. The 2012 report on "Chinese Government Persecution of Christians & Churches in Mainland China," based on incidents confirmed by ChinaAid founder Bob Fu, is just a tip of the iceberg. "There were 132 persecution cases involving nearly 5,000 people of faith -- the Christians, especially, and the Catholics," Fu reports. "And the number of people sentenced jumped 125 percent over the previous year."

American pastor tortured in Iranian prison while appeal being filed

Stoyan Zaimov - Christian Post

"When I heard this from my husband, I cried. It broke my heart. Behind those walls he feels helpless and relies on us to be his voice. It is so easy to feel forgotten in the walls of the prison. Please help me make sure he is never forgotten," Pastor Abedini's wife, Naghmeh, told the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) after visiting her husband on Monday. The ACLJ, which is representing Naghmeh and the couple's two children in the U.S., added in a media statement that Abedini remains cut off from speaking with his family following the trial in January. He was arrested in September 2012 during one of his many visits to his place of birth while working on an orphanage, and has been imprisoned ever since.


Child sex inquiry's evil tale

Jane Hansen - The Telegraph

The hero cop who blew the whistle on the alleged paedophile ring in the Maitland-Newcastle Catholic diocese is set to give explosive evidence to the Special Commission of Inquiry, which starts publicly on Wednesday. One of the priests, Detective Inspector Peter Fox alleges the church protected, is Father Denis McAlinden, who he believes will go down as one of the most prolific molesters who abused dozens of children over a four-decade period.