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.



Couple abort girl because they wanted a boy

Natasha Bita - News Limited

A Melbourne doctor has blown the whistle on parents who demanded an abortion - because they didn't want a girl. And obstetricians have proposed keeping the sex of unborn babies secret until it is too late to terminate, to prevent gender-based abortions. In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Herald Sun, Dr Mark Hobart revealed a Melbourne couple had asked him to refer them to an abortion clinic after discovering at 19 weeks they were having a girl, when they wanted a boy.

Couples expecting girls 'demand abortions' because they want boys, say obstetricians

Natasha Bita - News Limited

Couples expecting baby girls have demanded abortions because they wanted a boy instead, doctors have revealed. Obstetricians have proposed parents be banned from knowing the sex of unborn babies until it is too late to terminate, to prevent gender-based abortions. One of Australia's biggest abortion clinics has revealed that parents have requested abortions on gender grounds - although it is "extremely rare" and always refused. But News Limited has discovered a couple in Melbourne aborted their baby after discovering at 19 weeks they were having a girl - when they wanted a boy.

$12 abortions possible within weeks as drug subsidy recommended

Dan Harrison, Amy Corderoy - SMH

The abortion drug RU486 could be available within weeks for as little as $12 after the federal government's expert advisory body recommended that it be listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee, made up of medical experts and health economists, recommended listing mifepristone and misoprostol - the two drugs known together as RU486 - for termination of a pregnancy of up to 49 days' gestation.

Obama to Largest Abortion Provider: 'God Bless You'

Daniel Halper - Weekly Standard

"As long as we've got to fight to make sure women have access to quality, affordable health care, and as long as we've got to fight to protect a woman's right to make her own choices about her own health, I want you to know that you've also got a president who's going to be right there with you, fighting every step of the way," said Obama. "Thank you, Planned Parenthood. God bless you."


Girl, 12 'hangs herself' at home after being tormented online over her hair and choice of clothes

Amanda Williams - Daily Telegraph

A 12-year-old schoolgirl is believed to have hanged herself after being tormented by online cyber bullies about her hair and clothes. Katie Webb was found at her home in Evesham, Worcestershire, on Wednesday lunchtime and rushed to hospital by air ambulance. But despite the efforts of paramedics she was pronounced dead upon her arrival at Birmingham Children's Hospital.

Drugs & Alcohol

Anti-drug program held for photo op

The Daily Telegraph

A vital alcohol education program for school children is being delayed because the state government wants to announce it at a "politically advantageous time". Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia director Paul Dillon said the "It couldn't happen to me" was ready to begin in NSW schools after a successful trial last year.

Doctors tired of alcohol damage

Melissa Davey - SMH

Surgeons across Australia are urging a change to the nation's drinking culture, saying they are tired of patching up people hurt as a result of drunken violence. They say alcohol is increasingly a factor in the cases of shattered jaws and severed tendons they confront, describing much of their work as focusing on ''preventable tragedies''. Whether those people being wheeled into operating theatres are victims of their own drinking or other people's, the vice-president of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Michael Grigg, says surgeons were referring to the situation as an epidemic.


Qld deal on schools unlikely: Langbroek


Queensland Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek says Prime Minister Julia Gillard is the roadblock to ensuring his state signs on to the federal government's funding reforms for schools. The conservative Queensland government has been one of the most vocal states in saying it is unlikely to sign on to Ms Gillard's signature education reform.


Burke bans floating freezer for super trawler


Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke has imposed a two-year ban on Seafish Tasmania to stop it from using its super trawler as a floating freezer. The company submitted a proposal to use the Abel Tasman to buy, process and freeze fish after it was banned from trawling for two years

Bob Irwin launches reef ad campaign

Petrina Berry -

The father of the late crocodile hunter Steve Irwin has angered the Queensland government after claiming the Great Barrier Reef is being used as a dumping ground. Bob Irwin launched a multi-million dollar advertising campaign on Sunday to build awareness of threats to the reef. The UN's environmental arm warned earlier this year that the world's largest coral reef could be listed as a World Heritage Site in Danger if Australia didn't protect it from a gas and mining boom and related port developments.


Responsible gambling and the spectacle of the ‘problem gambler’

Charles Livingstone - The Conversation

Institutions that make big money out of gambling – such as governments, casinos, clubs and pubs – are fond of telling us how much they care about problem gambling. Clubs Australia (the peak body for the institutions where most of Australia’s poker machines are located) sees itself as part of the solution – although it also sees the problem as “a small minority” of poker machine gamblers.

'I backed More Joyous': Waterhouse meets lawyer over Singleton comments

Chris Roots - The Sydney Morning Herald

Controversial bookmaker Tom Waterhouse has met with his lawyer to discuss a defamation action against John Singleton after his remarks about the fitness of More Joyous before and after the All Aged Stakes at Randwick on Saturday. Waterhouse said he was disappointed after Singleton alleged he had advised friends of Singleton that More Joyous “had no chance” in the race, and at the complete breakdown of the relationship between his mother Gai and Singleton, a friendship that had spanned over 30 years.

Calls for parliamentary inquiry over 'Waterhouse leaks'


There are calls for a parliamentary inquiry into allegations horse trainer Gai Waterhouse leaked sensitive information to her bookmaker son Tom about champion racehorse More Joyous. Racing personality John Singleton voiced the allegations after his star galloper More Joyous beat just one runner home in the Group One All Aged Stakes on Saturday.


Push for referendum on same-sex marriages

Heath Aston - SMH

Australians could vote in a referendum on gay marriage in September under a radical proposal being pushed by independent MP Tony Windsor and supported by the Greens and other crossbenchers. Mr Windsor will call on Prime Minister Julia Gillard to take the issue of same-sex marriage "out of the hands of politicians" and let the public decide on election day - September 14. Fairfax Media has learnt that the government is set to announce that a referendum on recognising local government in the constitution will be held with the election, at a cost of $80 million.

Gay marriage is really about moral authority

C. Boyden Gray - Washington Times

One of the unremarked ironies of the Prop 8 case before the Supreme Court is same-sex couples’ demand for the blessing of state-recognized “marriage” — a label which owes much of its moral authority to its religious roots. Put another way, would there be as much of a controversy over the availability of the “marriage” title if it had no religious and moral connotations?

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Egyptian police refuse to protect Coptic Christians during gun and machete attack on mourners at cathedral

Leon Watson - Daily Mail

A shocking video has emerged that appears to show Egyptian police standing idly by as an anti-Christian mob launch a frenzied attack on a cathedral filled with mourners. Two worshippers were left dead and 84 injured, including 11 police officers, as men shooting guns, wielding machetes and hurling stones laid siege to the walled Coptic cathedral compound in Cairo earlier this month. Footage of the prolonged mass attack shows uniformed officers looking on and appearing to help one gunman take aim at people streaming out of a service held for five men killed in an earlier clash with Muslims.

Amnesty to Boko Haram: North seeks rebuilding of 400 churches

National Mirror

The Christian Elders Forum of Northern States, CEFNS, yesterday called on the Federal Government to rebuild the over 400 churches destroyed by Boko Haram insurgency in the region. The communiqué reads in part: “Over 400 churches have been destroyed or closed down. Christians are now being individually targeted and eliminated. Thousands of Christian businesses ruined, over 1,500 Christians, innocent lives wiped out. Why is government not talking about pardon to Boko Haram but amnesty?

Indonesian militant serving 19 years escapes

New York Times

A militant serving a 19-year prison sentence for beheading three Christian schoolgirls has escaped while visiting his sick wife and is still at large, Indonesian police said Friday. National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar said Basri, 36, fled from his house in the Central Sulawesi town of Poso last week when a guard who escorted him from jail to the home left him unguarded for several hours.

Nigeria's Christians suffering repeated attacks

ASSIST News Service

Morning Star News is reporting that an attack in Nigeria that killed 18 Christians has capped two years of Islamic aggression. It says that Muslim Fulani herdsmen are suspected in another deadly assault in the area. The news agency's Nigeria correspondent wrote that Hosea Mashaf was resting in his village of Chirang Mangor, Nigeria, when area Christian youths told him that armed, Muslim Fulani herdsmen were attacking the Christian village of Mile Bakwai.


Nightmare week of crime leaves police fed up

Emma Partridge, Eamonn Duff - SMH

Police are ''fed up'' with gun saturation in Sydney after one of the worst weeks of crime in NSW history. A sleep-deprived acting Assistant Commissioner Arthur Katsogiannis said it was one of the worst weeks police had experienced, with five deaths and seven public-place shootings in which eight people were wounded.

Anti-rainbow warrior requests people 'stop this nonsense'


Gay and lesbian equality supporters can ''get naked and walk backward up Hunter Street if they want to'', according to Newcastle lord mayor Jeff McCloy. Just don't chalk pretty rainbows on council property.

The secret thoughts of an unlikely convert

Carolyn Moynihan - Mercator Net

An English professor's journey from queer theory to Christian faith. In 1997 Rosaria M. Champagne was a lesbian feminist English professor at Syracuse University in New York, specialising in gay and lesbian studies, living with her girlfriend and sporting a butch haircut. Today, Rosaria Champagne Butterfield is a home-schooling mother of four adopted children in Purcellville, West Virginia, married to a pastor of the reformed Presbyterian Church. What happened to bring about this transformation?

Is religion a public or a private right?

Susan Hanssen - Mercator Net

Our public debate about religious liberty is missing a clear definition of religion, leading to confusion, frustration, shrill voices, and short tempers. Twentieth-century religious liberty jurisprudence developed on the far side of a great historic chasm that separates us from the traditional definition of religion. Between Americans in 2012 and the American founders in 1776 stand William James and the beginnings of the “science of comparative religions.” If we are to grasp the founders’ idea of a natural right to religious liberty, we must perform a labor of historical imagination and recover the longstanding definition of religion that has been lost to us.