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.



After-birth abortion: Justifying infanticide

John A. Leies - LifeNews

In one of his articles in the respected journal First Things, the late Father Richard John Neuhaus remarked, “The most consequential political event of the past half-century is the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions of 1973.” These decisions, he wrote, dramatically reconfigured the nation’s cultural and political life. The moral question, he added, was not when human life begins — as the Supreme Court maintained — but at what point human life should be protected by law. Scientists know when human life begins.


British bioethics group backs controversial fertility treatment


An influential British bioethics group says that couples who face the risk of having a baby with certain genetic diseases should be allowed to use eggs from two women to produce the embryo. Such controversial procedures should only be allowed if they are proven safe, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics said Tuesday, but its advice seems likely to reignite debate. Currently, such treatments are only allowed for research in the U.K., and British law forbids altering a human egg or embryo before transferring it into a woman.

Children & Family

Spanking boosts odds of mental illness


People who were hit or spanked as children face higher odds of mental ailments as adults, including mood and anxiety disorders and problems with alcohol and drug abuse. The study, led by Canadian researchers, is the first to examine the link between psychological problems and spanking, while excluding more severe physical or sexual abuse in order to better gauge the effect of corporal punishment alone.


It's a man's (virtual) world

Lucy Meyer - SMH

Sexual harassment is rife in the world of online video gaming. While video games are often thought of as a male pursuit, an increasing number of women are playing them. Having entered a domain that was once dominated by men, female gamers are being met by abuse.

PlayStation rage killing and maiming children

Marika Hill - SMH

Young men are getting so caught up in gaming consoles they are lashing out at children, sometimes with deadly consequences. A New Zealand paediatrician says all too often she treats children who have been struck by a male caregiver because they interrupted a game.

Donor Conception & Surrogacy

Surrogacy promise a 'mistake': Newman

Daniel Hurst - Brisbane Times

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman says he supports changes to prevent single people and same-sex couples from having a baby through use of a surrogate, but won't say why. In an interview with to mark 100 days in office, Mr Newman also defended the watering down of civil union legislation, saying his compromise was a “far more middle-road, considered outcome” than some in the Christian right thought the government would take.

Donor siblings, and a new kind of family

Tamsin Eva - NY Times

Last month I posted eight words to the Donor Sibling Registry, a Web site that helps form connections among the children conceived by sperm, egg or embryo donations. Girl born October 2008. Boy born May 2010. I was required to enter one other key piece of information: the name of the sperm bank and ID number of the donor that we used to conceive our children. The match popped up instantly from my simple query, like a book in an online library catalog.

Drugs & Alcohol

Victoria leads in the education of teen drinking

Simon Lauder - ABC

High school principals say there needs to be a renewed focus on alcohol and drug education in schools across Australia. A Victorian program which teaches school students how to deal with alcohol and illicit drugs is being held up as an example of what can be achieved when the issue is slotted into the school curriculum.


Parents charged over unpaid school fees

Katrina Stokes and David Nankervis - The Advertiser

Thousands of South Australian parents have been prosecuted for failing to pay public school fees this year. They include 271 parents who have had warrants issued for their arrest for failing to turn up in court - more than five times the number issued two years ago at the height of the financial crisis.


First step for new coal seam gas project

Perth Now

A major coal seam gas project in central Queensland is a step closer towards production, with the state government issuing draft terms of reference for an environmental impact statement. Arrow Energy's Bowen Gas Project is one of two coal seam gas developments that will form part of the company's liquefied natural gas (LNG) project. Arrow Energy CEO Andrew Faulkner says the project would develop up to 7000 gas wells over the next 40 years, each with a lifespan of 15 to 20 years.


Income management no answer: Sydney rally


Forcing people onto income management will erode self esteem and do little for alcohol and gambling addictions, demonstrators at a two-week vigil in Sydney's southwest say. Social workers and union members on Monday started a two-week vigil outside Bankstown Centrelink Centre to protest the rollout of income management.


Home brew dangers in Gulf dry community

Melanie Petrinec - Cairns Post

An Anglican minister says a dry community in the Gulf of Carpentaria has become so overrun with home brew that children as young as 11 are risking their lives mixing and drinking potent concoctions made from fruit juice and Vegemite. Rev John Adams, who was instrumental in helping Aurukun indigenous leaders implement an Alcohol Management Plan in the 1990s, visited Mornington Island last week and said it was clear an urgent solution to the problem brought about by alcohol prohibition needed to be found.


What does Obama's ‘Marriage equality' mean for bisexuals?

Terence P. Jeffrey - CNS News

Obama, we now know, believes homosexual men have a "right" to marry other men, and homosexual women have a "right" to marry other women. So, who does he believe bisexuals have a "right" to marry? In Obama's world, does a bisexual man have a "right" to enter into a bigamous union with one other man and one woman? Or can the state force him to limit his marriage to the union of just two people?

Greiner wrong

Nick Minchin – AFR

Former NSW Liberal premier Nick Greiner is quite wrong to criticise Tony Abbott for not having a conscience vote on same-sex marriage (“Greiner ‘appalled’’, July 2). Greiner appears not to understand the basis for conscience votes in the federal parliamentary Liberal Party. It is long-standing practice in the Liberal Party that conscience votes are only held on issues on which the party has no formal policy, which are typically the “life and death” issues of euthanasia, abortion and embryonic stem cell research.

Sister's branch urges Tony Abbott to free up same-sex vote

Milanda Rout – The Australian

A Liberal Party branch that could endorse Tony Abbott's gay sister as a candidate for Sydney lord mayor has written to the Opposition Leader, urging him to allow his MPs and senators a conscience vote on same-sex marriage. The letter, seen by The Australian, says a motion was passed at the Potts Point/Elizabeth Bay branch of the NSW Liberal Party that called on Mr Abbott to change his mind and give the Coalition partyroom a conscience vote, like their Labor colleagues.

Overseas Aid

As long as the rich can speculate on food, the world's poor go hungry

Brisbane Times

When we think of overseas aid, we think of helping people who need it. The government says aid helps people overcome poverty. But does it? Obviously, to overcome poverty we have to overcome the causes of poverty, and the big causes of poverty today are untouched by aid. Poor countries are still forced to pay off unpayable debts. The global poor are facing ever-higher food prices, driven by speculation. And climate change is already destroying lands and livelihoods.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Perth's top madam says sex is going underground

Jerrie Demasi - SMH

A leading urban planning expert is fearful that the state government's plan to push brothels out of suburbia is going to send the sex industry deeper into the underworld - and WA's most famous madam agrees. associate Professor of urban and regional planning Paul Maginn said the government's prostitution law reform bill, which intends to eradicate sex workers from residential areas, would do little to move prostitution out of the suburbs.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

China: The basketball threat

Stacy L. Harp - Persection Blog

Members of the Shouwang house church continue to face harassment from Beijing authorities. Most recently, security officials denied the church’s student group access to two sports facilities in Beijing. The 1,000-plus members of the Shouwang Church have been meeting outdoors for 14 months, in protest against officials who have prevented them from purchasing or renting facilities for a worship space.

Indonesia Regent orders closure of churches

BosNewsLife Asia Service

Christians in Indonesia's semi-autonomous province of Aceh faced a tense Sunday, July 1, after local authorities ordered the demolition of 20 churches. Razali Abdul Rahman, the acting regent of Aceh Singkil Regency in Aceh, signed the letter already on April 30, but details recently emerged. He ordered the closure of 17 Protestant churches, two Catholic churches and one place of worship belonging to followers of a local nondenominational faith, The Jakarta Post newspaper said.


Sound asylum policy lost in sea of party politics

Susan Metcalfe - SMH

In August last year I wrote in The Age: “No one comes away with clean hands from debates about asylum seeker policy in Australia. Those who advocate to push asylum seekers away from our shores condemn those people to potentially life-threatening fates in other countries. Those who take a hands-off approach to arrivals are accepting that trauma and sometimes death at sea will be the inevitable outcomes. It is a least-worst-option scenario that leaves the moral high ground well beyond anyone’s reach.”


Churches vital to HIV and AIDS response

Christian Today

Churches are playing a vital role in tackling the spread of HIV and AIDS and breaking cultural stigma, according to a new report from Christian Aid. The report contradicts the popular notion that faith communities are an obstacle to the effective treatment and prevention of HIV and AIDS.

School chaplains decision opens can of worms for federal funding

Andrew Lynch - The Australian

The High Court's decision in Williams v Commonwealth, the school chaplains' case, defies a quick fix. Last week the government pushed urgent legislation through parliament to rescue the chaplaincy scheme and hundreds of others like it. The Financial Framework Legislation Amendment Bill (No 3) purports to provide a legislative basis for programs that the commonwealth executive has been running independently, using just the power of its purse. But the new law, passed by both houses in just two days -- amid the dramatic debates over asylum-seeker policy -- only offers temporary stability at best. While it definitely buys the commonwealth some time, grave concerns have been expressed about the bill's validity and effectiveness.

Families do their own planning

Judith Sloan – The Australian

My daughter and I recently visited a number of US cities and in each we came across groups in the street advocating planned parenthood. Young, earnest women would ask us whether we supported family planning, to which my daughter would politely reply, "not today". Coincidentally, I received an email last week from Melinda Gates -- OK, along with hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of other recipients -- declaring her support for the promotion and funding of family planning in developing countries.