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.



Kansas passes tough new abortion bill

Associated Press

Kansas legislators gave final passage to a sweeping anti-abortion measure last night, sending Gov. Sam Brownback a bill that declares life begins "at fertilization." It blocks tax breaks for abortion providers, bans abortions performed solely because of the baby's sex, prohibits abortion providers from being involved in public school sex education classes, and spells out in more detail what information doctors must provide to patients seeking abortions.

Flood of views on abortion bill

Calla Wahlquist - The Examiner

Late-term abortions and a fine for doctors who object to abortion are the key issues in proposed legislation to decriminalise abortion in Tasmania. Public comment on draft legislation closes today and more than 1300 submissions have already been received. Health Minister Michelle O'Byrne is sponsoring the Reproductive Health Act as a private members's bill and said she expected to receive another influx of submissions today.

Charities & NFP

Charities must merge to survive

Adelaide Now

While the not-for-profit sector is incredibly important for the provision of human and social services, enough is enough, writes Ali Clarke. Is it finally time for charities to join together in a united front? There are way too many of them in Australia. They're emailing us, dressing up as animals, calling us at home, asking us to dinner, getting us to buy tickets, auctioning off items, building houses, and accosting us at shopping centres, malls and pubs.


Complaints over Goodwood Rd sex shop's graphic window display

Adelaide Now

This is the graphic artwork in a sex store window which confronts families and children on busy Goodwood Road, less than 500m from the Goodwood Primary School. The bondage scene - on display at the Adult Products At No 96 store, at Goodwood - shows a woman with her legs apart, her private parts covered with a playing card, a menacing-looking man leering at her in the background. As far as the community can tell, no one can do anything about it.

Australian Government prepares for further reform to the national classification system

Luke Reilly - Herald Sun

Minister for Home Affairs Jason Clare has today announced he will introduce what his office has described as ?the first stage? of reforms to the National Classification System into Parliament during the winter session. These reforms look set to change the way games are classified in Australia. The reforms were presented to the Standing Council on Law and Justice meeting in Darwin yesterday. All State and Territory Ministers agreed to the changes. The reforms implement some of the recommendations that have come out of the Australian Law Reform Commission’s National Classification Scheme Review, undertaken last year.

Donor Conception & Surrogacy

Elusive ingredient a roadblock to fertile ambitions

Jacob Atkins - SMH

As thank-you letters go, it is fairly unusual. Thank you so much for your sperm. This is essentially what Kelly Osterberg and her female partner wrote to the man who donated his sperm so that they could have their baby boy, Wyatt, in February 2012. When they donate to sperm banks, men have the option of explaining their motivation for a big decision that doesn't necessarily spring to mind on a rainy day. ''The donor that we picked - which was the first one we read - wrote: 'To enable lesbian couples to have a family,''' Osterberg says. It is widely known that in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatments are no walk in the park, but in recent years, women seeking to become mothers through IVF have come up against a surprising obstacle - it seems many men are not willing to spend some alone time to donate sperm.

Drugs & Alcohol

Calls to raise drinking age

Ewa Kretowicz - The Canberra Times

Children younger than 13 are overdosing on illegal drugs and being treated in Canberra hospitals for alcohol poisoning. New statistics from ACT Health show 50 children under 18 were treated at Canberra and Calvary hospitals after consuming illegal drugs like marijuana, heroin, cocaine ecstasy and vast quantities of liquor last year. Of the 50 children, three were under 13.


Organ donors to be paid six-weeks' salary

ABC News

The Federal Government will trial a scheme to pay employees wanting to donate an organ a six-week salary on the minimum wage. Under the scheme, workers will be paid up to $606 per week for six weeks to help ease the burden of medical costs. Health Minister Tanya Plibersek says medical and organ donation groups have long argued for the need for a living donor paid-leave scheme.


Why no one hears arguments for marriage

John Stonestreet - Christian Post

The writer Upton Sinclair, commenting on his loss in the 1934 California gubernatorial election, wrote, "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it." Sinclair's quote came to mind after reading a piece entitled "The World Can't Hear Us On Marriage" by theologian Peter Leithhart. It was the second of two pieces about the "difficulties that Christians have, and will continue to have, defending a biblical view of marriage to the American public." These difficulties don't arise from a lack of good, even compelling, arguments for the idea that true marriage is the union of one man and one woman. It's that the culture is increasingly incapable of hearing these arguments, much less making sense of them.

Overseas Aid

High time to up the ante in fight against poverty

Maree Nutt - On Line Opinion

December 31, 2015 is also the symbolic deadline of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); eight global objectives ranging from providing universal primary education to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS through to halving extreme poverty. The MDGs were agreed to at the United Nations in New York in 2000 by 180 world leaders, including then Prime Minister John Howard. They have created a massive global framework for improving the lives of those less fortunate and unprecedented public and political will from donor and poverty-afflicted countries alike.


Greens brace for conservative tide

Judith Ireland - SMH

The Greens risk losing two Senate spots at the federal election, leader Christine Milne is conceding, but she remains adamant the poll is not about numbers. ''There's no doubt this is going to be a tough election for us,'' she said, noting that the ''tide is rushing in for the conservatives'' at both federal and state levels. Senator Milne, who will mark one year as Greens leader next Saturday, said the lead-up to the election would be an uphill battle for the party. She said senators Sarah Hanson-Young and Scott Ludlam faced a tough fight to save their seats and the party's balance of power in the Senate.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Child sex workers lured into brutal industry

Amy Bainbridge - ABC

Ria is 18 years old. She has endured more in her short existence than anyone should experience in seven lifetimes. As she sits on her mattress on the floor of a women's refuge in the Indonesian city of Surabaya, Ria shares her story through a translator. You might expect someone shy, wary or angry. But Ria's words spill from her lips and she candidly speaks about her time as a child prostitute. Surabaya is home to 3 million people, and about 10 million people in the surrounding areas.

Paedophile hunters


How American agents are working with Asian ounterparts to deal with child sex crimes. With unprecedented access to one of the most controversial agencies within America's Department of Homeland Security, this film follows US agents in Cambodia as they track down American paedophile sex tourists. Working with local activists and police, the American agents use state of the art forensics and surveillance techniques to collect damning evidence of sexual predators preying on young children.


Refugees' new lives 'wasted by tragedy'


A judge sentencing a young Sudanese woman for murder has lamented heavy drinking among "seemingly dispossessed" African refugees. Victorian Supreme Court judge Betty King said today there had been numerous examples of African refugees coming before the courts for offences linked to excessive consumption of alcohol. Many young Africans appeared to be spending their days drinking because they had nothing else to do, she said.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

One dead in clashes outside Cairo cathedral


Deadly clashes that broke out outside Cairo's main cathedral have left one person dead and dozens more injured. The violence erupted following the funerals of four Coptic Christians who were killed on Friday. The four Christians and a Muslim died during unrest in a town north of Cairo.

Drive-by shooting: Christian leader Saleem Khokhar survives attack

Pakistan Tribune

The president of All Pakistan Minorities Alliance Sindh chapter, Saleem Khursheed Khokhar, survived an attack on him on his way to Karachi from Badin on Wednesday. Khokar, who is a Christian and a former member of the Sindh Assembly, was very vocal in condemning the injustices done to religious minorities. He highlighted several cases of forced conversions and marriages on a number of occasions in the assembly.

Kidnap threat stalks Syrians

France 24

Syria's residents, already terrorised by a conflict now in its third year, are also being stalked by the increasing threat of kidnap, with motives ranging from sectarianism and prisoner exchange to ransom. "Most kidnappers are motivated by a desire for financial gain, though some operate on a sectarian basis," Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP, describing the emergence of "organised gangs" of kidnappers. "They are warlords who take advantage of the insecurity that is ravaging the country," he said. "One young man was killed, while we were released after several weeks in a prisoner exchange," he said, adding that his kidnappers forced him to study the Koran and subjected him "to physical and psychological torture."

Sexualisation of Society

Miranda Devine: Generation of girls at risk

Miranda Devine - The Sunday Telegraph

There is one domain in which woman have always reigned supreme, and that is the business of coupling, procreating and child rearing. Therefore, if you influe ce women, you influence the fabric of society. Which is why feminism has been such an important weapon in the armament of the left. But feminism has now gone well beyond redressing genuine inequality to advocating behaviours and attitudes that damage women, and threaten the health of society. The evidence is there to be seen for anyone who cares to look, in the annals of psychological disorders that afflict so many young women today.


The myth of gender interchangeability

Babette Francis - On Line Opinion

Few policies illustrate better the feminist myth that men and women are interchangeable than the feminist push to have women employed in front-line combat roles in war. A text I studied for my Senior Cambridge in India (equivalent to the VCE) was Shakespeare's Henry V. We memorised King Henry's speech before the battle of Harfleur where he, Exeter, Bedford, Gloucester and soldiers were scaling walls: Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; Or close the wall up with our English dead....

Activist faces assault charges

Alex McKinnon - Star Observer

Former Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH) co-convenor and gay rights advocate Bryn Hutchison,32, has pled not guilty to charges of assaulting police and resisting arrest following his controversial treatment by NSW Police during Sydney Mardi Gras. Flanked by family members, supporters and CAAH co-convenor Karl Hand, Hutchison appeared before Sydney Central Local Court on Friday to answer the charges and set a date for a later hearing.

Son of Orange County Pastor Rick Warren will get an autopsy

Jack Leonard and Stephen Ceasar - LA Times

Coroner’s officials plan to conduct an autopsy on the youngest son of Orange County Pastor Rick Warren next week to determine an official cause of death, a routine event in cases where suicide is suspected, authorities said Saturday afternoon. Matthew Warren’s death at his home on Pradera Drive in Mission Viejo was reported to Orange County sheriff’s officials at about 5:25 p.m. Friday, said Supervising Deputy Coroner Dan Aikin.