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.



The 3D scan of a disabled baby's smile that convinced his mother not to abort him - and why she is grateful she was able to cuddle him with joy for a few precious hours

Larisa Brown - Daily Mail

A mother was unable to abort her severely disabled son despite doctors' warnings after seeing her baby's smile in a 3D scan picture. Katyia Rowe was told her baby's brain had not formed properly and that he would never walk or talk and would need 24-hour care. But after seeing real-time moving scans of him smiling, blowing bubbles, kicking and waving his arms she made the heartbreaking decision to go through with the birth. Tragically Lucian, as she named him, died nine hours after he was born.

Crash revives debate on unborn baby laws

Mark Colvin - ABC

The death of a mother and her unborn child in a car crash in South Australia has one MP drafting changes to the law to reflect foetal homicide. They're based on laws in Queensland but some say such changes take the law too far, as is shown in a recent New Zealand case.

Charities & NFP

ACL misrepresented in NFP reform article

ACL - International

The Australian Christian Lobby said this morning it has been misrepresented in today’s article in The Australian, “Support grows for tax reform in not-for-profits”. Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby Jim Wallace said, “ACL reiterated that while we understand the position of the Community Council for Australia that fringe benefits tax concessions have greatest benefit for the higher paid employees in charities, we believe that current FBT concessions for religious practitioners should remain.”

Support grows for tax reform in not-for-profits

David Crowe - The Australian

Calls for tax reform in the $43 billion not-for-profit sector gained ground yesterday when an influential Christian group threw its support behind a contentious proposal to scale back concessions for up to one million workers. The Australian Christian Lobby backed the concerns of the Community Council of Australia that the special rules for fringe benefits tax favour the wealthiest workers in churches and charities.

Children & Family

Welfare underpins the regular abuse of children

John Hirst - Brisbane Times

Community Services Minister Jenny Macklin got into trouble for telling a persistent journalist that, yes, she could live on the dole. But, she went on to say, the dole was not intended as a permanent payment; the government did all it could to get people into work. The second part of her statement was mostly not reported. And we wonder why ministers evade questions and employ spin doctors.

Donor Conception & Surrogacy

India raises marriage barrier to gay surrogacy

Andrew Shaw - Gay News Network

Changes to India's surrogacy laws making it mandatory for people seeking surrogate mothers to be married have prompted surrogacy advocates back home to call for changes to allow commercial surrogacy in Australia. The Indian Government has decreed that only couples who have been married for more than two years can enter into commercial surrogacy arrangements, and only if it is legal in their home country. Currently, in Queensland single would-be parents and gay couples seeking a surrogate mother in India do so against state law.

India surrogacy change cuts off Aussie parents

Nance Haxton - ABC

Changes to commercial surrogacy arrangements in India, introduced just before Christmas, have cut off one of the more popular avenues for Australians wanting to become surrogate parents. While heading overseas for commercial surrogacy is illegal in Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT, hundreds of Australians still flew to India every year to become parents. But now the Indian government has issued a directive that only couples who have been married for more than two years can enter into commercial surrogacy arrangements, and only if it is legal in their home country.

Drugs & Alcohol

Drug mule accused of working with customs

Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker - SMH

Authorities have swooped on a courier accused of importing drugs with the alleged help of Sydney Airport customs officers. The move comes amid fresh revelations that some of the drug mules involved in the scandal risked the death penalty by moving drugs through Singapore. Among other developments in the growing customs corruption scandal, a Fairfax investigation can also reveal that up to four customs officers suspected of involvement in serious corruption remain working at Sydney Airport.

Woman on drugs cocktail killed son: police

Daniel Fogarty - AAP

A Victorian woman who killed her son when her car hit a tree was "smashed" on a cocktail of prescription drugs, a court has heard. Mandy Stevenson, 39, had five different prescription drugs in her system and was falling asleep at the wheel when she lost control of the car on the Colac-Murroon Rd at Murroon on July 6, 2011, police allege. The crash also seriously injured three children.


Parents voice concern as Victorian government schools set to charge parents for internet

Stephen Drill, Shelly Hadfield - Herald Sun

Parents are worried that some students will miss out if their parents cannot pay for internet access at public schools from next year. Parents Victoria executive officer Gail McHardy said voluntary fees and levies were already imposing costs on parents, when public schools were meant to be accessible to all.


Hospitals stripped of cash bribes for ‘death pathway’ in shake-up of controversial end-of-life regime

Daniel Martin - Daily Mail

Hospitals will no longer be able to profit simply by putting dying patients on the Liverpool Care Pathway. NHS trusts have been receiving six-figure sums for using the controversial end-of-life regime. But care minister Norman Lamb said these ‘bribes’ would have to stop unless it was shown suffering had been reduced. It is feared the incentives pressure doctors to use the pathway even when a patient’s life may not be nearing its end.


Fast food consumption points to gambling

Kylar Loussikian - The Australian

Big Macs have been criticised for many things, but it's possible they're a good indicator of something else - a love of gambling. A new study has demonstrated a link between gambling and the consumption of food high in salt and sugar content. The study, headed by Matthew Browne from the Experimental Gambling Laboratory at Central Queensland University, shows the same underlying personality traits that lead some people to over-consume alcohol, cigarettes and energy-rich foods, could indicate a predisposition to gambling.


Women on a mission for battered families

Nataha Robinson - The Australian

Both women grew up dirt-poor in Central Australia and rose to become political powerbrokers. Their strident advocacy in support of John Howard's radical intervention into remote Aboriginal communities - continued under Labor - has turned them into polarising figures. But beyond the politics, Bess Nungarrayi Price and Alison Nampitjinpa Anderson have had one shared overriding purpose: the protection of women and children from the bloody ravages of alcohol-fuelled violence and sexual abuse.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Court win for employee asked to remove cross

Rachael Brown - ABC

A British Airways employee asked to remove her cross necklace has won her discrimination case at the European Court of Human Rights. Nadia Eweida told the European Court of Human Rights that BA made her stop wearing her white gold cross visibly. She said it amounted to violation of her rights, and judges agreed, ruling that she had suffered discrimination at work. The court said British judges had given "too much weight" to BA's desire to "project a certain corporate image", and Ms Eweida's right to manifest her religious beliefs had been violated.


Religious groups free to discriminate

Jonathan Swan - Brisbane Times

The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has assured religious groups they will have the ''freedom'' to discriminate against homosexuals and others deemed sinners under the new Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill, according to the head of the Australian Christian Lobby. Under current law, faith-based organisations - for example, schools and hospitals - can refuse to hire homosexuals and others deemed to be sinners if it ''is necessary to avoid injury to the religious sensitivities of adherents of that religion''.

Church caught up in row over uni mosque

Vince Chadwick - The Age

Anti-Islamic sentiment has flared in Melbourne's eastern suburbs, with the planned renovation of a mosque near Monash University prompting a senior member of the local Uniting Church to claim mosques may provide a training ground for religious fanatics. The Monash mosque is in a house owned by the university and used by about 1000 people, mostly staff and students, each week for prayers. However, the president of the Islamic Association of Monash Mosque, Mohamed Mohideen, said the house was too small to host the growing congregation, including international students and nearby residents.