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.



Jury begins deliberations in abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell’s murder trial

Brady Dennis - Washington Post

A jury on Tuesday began deliberating the fate of 72-year-old abortion provider Kermit Gosnell, who prosecutors say killed numerous infants who were born alive during procedures at his Philadelphia clinic. Gosnell also faces charges in the death of a 41-year-old Virginia woman who died in 2009 after receiving an overdose of drugs during an abortion at the clinic.

U486 drug shame

Robin Williams - Catholic Leader

A key advisory group has recommended that the Federal Government include an abortion drug on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee, on April 26, recommended that the PBS cover Mifepristone (RU486) and Misoprostol, a drug taken in conjunction with RU486. A final decision on the recommendation is expected later in the year. Cherish Life Queensland state president Teresa Martin is calling on Catholics to make their voices heard before that decision is made. "These are drugs that not just kill the baby but are dangerous to the mother," she said.

RU 486 comes with potent and unpalatable 'side effects'

Renate Klein - On Line Opinion

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) recommended on 26 April 2013 that the abortion pill Mifepristone Linepharma (better known as RU 486) and the necessary second drug prostaglandin GyMiso® be included in the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). The Health Minister, Tanya Plibersek will now make sure that there is "a cost-effective price" and "a steady, good quality supply" (ABC News, 26 April 2013). Indeed, the first thing we need to know is how much the tax payer will have to contribute to the coffers of MS Health – the subsidiary of the abortion provider Marie Stopes International Australia (MSIA) - who obtained registration of the two drugs in August 2012.

FDA OKs morning-after pill for ages 15 and up

Associated Press

The Plan B morning-after pill is moving over the counter. The FDA announced today that the emergency contraceptive will be available without a prescription to those ages 15 and older. The pill also no longer needs to be behind pharmacy counters. Instead, it can sit on drugstore shelves just like condoms, but buyers will have to prove their age at the cash register.

Charities & NFP

Not-for-profits need to steal a march in the boardroom battle

Liza Ramrayka - The Guardian

As the UK's not-for-profit (NFP) sector continues to feel the squeeze of public sector funding cuts and competition for donations, it is increasingly important for organisations to recruit and retain the best people at board and senior management level to help them to address their current and future needs.

Children & Family

4Real? NZ reveals banned baby names


New Zealand officials have released a list of baby names put forward by parents that were rejected because they were too bizarre or offensive, including "Lucifer" and "Mafia No Fear". The list of 77 names reveals one child was set to be called "Anal" before the Department of Internal Affairs vetoed the proposal, while another narrowly avoided being dubbed "." or full stop. Other names on the list included "4Real", "V8", and "Queen Victoria".


Foxtel’s bestiality billboard is last straw: industry must be regulated

Lyle Shelton - Online Opinion

Princeton ethicist Peter Singer, recently awarded our nation’s highest honour, thinks bestiality is fine. Perhaps that is why Foxtel knew it could get away with purchasing a billboard in Kings Cross featuring a man simulating sex with a pig. If ethics is so confused that its teachers have no moral compass, why should we be surprised a large company seeks to cash in on the controversy it knows it will generate by advertising in this manner?

'Appalling taste': Foxtel to remove bestiality billboard

Michael Lallo - SMH

Foxtel has apologised and said it will on Wednesday night remove a Kings Cross billboard depicting bestiality that was "clearly in appalling taste". The prominent billboard advertising the Foxtel arts channel Studio is currently placed on William Street in Kings Cross and depicts a man simulating sex with a pig. Earlier on Wednesday, Wendy Francis, of the Australian Christian Lobby, said the prominent billboard was distressing and inappropriate, especially for children.

Bestiality billboard pulled after outrage


A billboard in Sydney's Kings Cross, which depicts a man having sex with a pig to intentionally cause controversy, will be removed after it sparked outrage. The image of bestiality is an advertisement for provocative new drama series Black Mirror on Studio, the arts channel produced for Foxtel by SBS. The Australian Christian Lobby told News Limited that the sign is distressing, and a desperate cry for media attention.

Controversial billboard will be removed, Foxtel says

A billbord featuring a man about to have sex with a pig will be removed, Foxtel says. Pedestrians were today confronted with the image that was part of an ad campaign for Foxtel's arts TV channel Studio, which is produced by SBS.

Foxtel apologises for ‘lapse of judgement’ over bestiality billboard and takes it down


Foxtel is pulling down a controversial Studio billboard less than 24 hours after it was erected to promote the relaunch of the arts channel. The poster – in Sydney’s Kings cross – featured a fictional British prime minister preparing to have sex with a pig. The scene comes from the dark British series Black Mirror. The episode featured the social media storm following the kidnapping of a British princess with the ransom demand that the British PM has sex with the animal live on TV.

Drugs & Alcohol

Michael Jackson doctor had huge debts:court


A police detective has testified about the depths of debt that Michael Jackson's doctor faced while giving the singer treatments of the powerful anaesthetic that killed the pop superstar. Los Angeles police Detective Orlando Martinez said in a case filed by Jackson's mother against concert giant AEG Live that Conrad Murray faced student loans, home loans, child support obligations and credit card payments that were in arrears in 2009. Plaintiff's attorney Brian Panish said the debts totalled nearly $US1 million ($A970,000).


Greens divided over bill support

Ben Mckay - The Examiner

A major rift has emerged between the Tasmanian and Australian Greens as the forest peace deal legislation passed the Tasmanian Parliament. Federal Greens leader Christine Milne has been savage in her criticism of the amended bill, which the Tasmanian Greens embraced yesterday. Former Tasmanian leader Peg Putt said the division was unprecedented, saying she had "never seen a split like this".


Avoiding 'euthanasia through lack of funds'

Peter Jean - The Canberra Times

Sean Fitzgerald sees a bleak future for himself unless a properly funded national disability insurance scheme goes ahead: lying in bed at home monitored remotely by camera or being admitted to a nursing home. The 51-year-old member of People with Disabilities ACT, who is paralysed from the shoulders down, is determined to fight for the insurance scheme to be introduced.


Inquiry to use betting books, phone records

Kate McClymont, Nick Ralston - SMH

Controversial racing identity Robbie Waterhouse is set to be drawn into the stewards' inquiry that has embroiled his wife, trainer Gai Waterhouse, his bookmaking son Tom and the family's former close friend John Singleton. With discrepancies appearing between the accounts of the main players, racing investigators hope the betting books of Robbie and Tom Waterhouse, who share a North Sydney office, will provide the best forensic tool. ''Betting tells - it's a great barometer,'' one source said.


Australians shine in world health rankings

Clifford Fram - AAP

Australians live longer, healthier lives than people in almost every other country, according to a major international study. Data to be released in Melbourne on Thursday shows life expectancy increased for both men and women in Australia from 1990 to 2010. Australia ranks 5th out of 187 countries, with only people in Japan, Andorra, Iceland and Switzerland living longer.

Homelessness & Poverty

Australia's only aged care for homeless at risk

Simon Lauder - ABC

Australia has only one nursing home that looks after homeless people. Now it is facing a funding crisis. Its management says the aged care sector's treatment of the homeless is scandalous and that if things don't change more elderly Australians will be dying alone in the streets.

Human Rights

Call to hang Bangladesh factory owners as Pope slams 'slave labour'


Bangladesh rescuers said they feared at least 500 people died in the collapse of a clothing factory complex last week, as the Pope condemned the use of "slave labour" in the local clothing industry. As bulldozers and cranes worked to remove the rubble of the eight-storey building on the outskirts of Dhaka, a senior army officer said the number of confirmed dead stood at 411 while around 140 people were still missing.

Nigeria bloodbath cover up: rights group


With satellite images showing massive destruction in the Nigerian town of Baga, Human Rights Watch says it fears the military is trying to cover up abuses that should be investigated. Clashes between soldiers and Boko Haram Islamists have sparked massive fires leaving nearly half the town destroyed. The Red Cross says 187 people were killed in the fighting, while an area senator puts the toll at 228.


Aboriginal squalor among Australia's 'dirtiest secrets' says expat

Candace Sutton -

A 20-minute drive from where real estate agents are touting a "new breed of luxury modernist apartments" to cashed-up employees of Port Hedland's mining boom, members of Joanne Polly's indigenous community sleep in the fields. In South Hedland, as the Sunday Times recently discovered on a tour of the region, residents are dying of kidney and liver failure, and their children are inhaling petrol and aerosols.


Australian gay rights advocate Alex Greenwich compared to Stalin

Matt Young -

The Managing Director of the world's largest 'family values' conference has fired back at gay marriage advocates who are opposing its event in Australia this month. Lawrence Jacobs has targeted Sydney MP and Chairperson for Australian Marriage Equality Alex Greenwich in particular, who has been a vocal opponent to the World Congress of Families conference. "Leaders of a self-styled 'sexual minority' have expressed anger over some of our speakers," Mr Jacobs said in a release.


Review into refugees' cases to be complete 'within weeks'

Daniel Flitton - SMH

A review into the cases of 55 refugees branded threats by ASIO is expected to be complete "within weeks", raising hopes they could escape indefinite detention inside Australian immigration centres. Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus met with former federal court judge Margaret Stone in Sydney on Wednesday to discuss her review of the secret ASIO assessments.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

American Pastor Saeed Abedini thrown into solitary confinement in Iran; Health deteriorating

Jeremy Reynalds - ASSIST News Service

Already badly weakened by months of beatings and torture that have resulted in internal bleeding, American Pastor Saeed Abedini, a U.S. citizen, is facing perhaps his most difficult challenge since his imprisonment last fall. According to a story by Jordan Sekulow for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), family members in Iran confirm that Abedini, along with nine other prisoners, has been placed in solitary confinement.

Sexualisation of Society

Our sex probe: Revealing the bare facts in New England North West

Breanna Chillingworth - Northern Daily

The local sex industry has almost doubled in the past 20 years and much of it occurs between the sheets in motel rooms across the New England North West. Sex workers steer clear of hustling work off the street because in order for them to make money in country areas, they must be discreet. The claims might startle some but it’s just some of the cold, hard evidence that has landed in front of UNE expert Professor John Scott, who’s been researching the industry for almost 20 years.