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.




Pro-choice organization compares abortion to...getting your tonsils out

Cortney O'Brien - Townhall

The Irish Family Planning Association is Ireland's “leading sexual health charity” which “provides sexual health, family planning, pregnancy counselling and training services,” according to its website. More accurately, however, it is a pro-choice organization that likes to suggest having an abortion is no different than getting your tonsils removed.


Should there be prenatal screening for autism?

Andrew Whitehouse - The Conversation

The internet was ablaze last week with the news that health authorities in Western Australia (WA) have given approval for IVF clinics to ‘screen’ embryos to reduce the chances of a couple having a child with autism.

Children & Family

Why dads matter

Adam Shand - The Australian

It may seem a little creepy but the old adage holds true: a father should be his son's first hero and his daughter's first love. In fact, the relationship with her father is the most important of her life, according to the experts. The connection with a mother's womb is clear and enduring while the father's influence is more abstract and fragile, yet crucial.

Foster agencies call to address ACT's low rates of adoption

Ben Westcott - The Canberra Times

Foster-care agencies and support services have called for changes to the way the ACT handles the adoption of children by foster parents. The ACT currently has the lowest adoption rate on record with only 11 children adopted in 2011-12, a figure highlighted during last week's National Adoption Awareness Week.


Google block on child porn: At last! Internet giant axes links to vile sex-abuse websites in stunning victory for Mail campaign

James Chapman - Daily Mail

Internet search results linked to child abuse are to be blocked across the world in a stunning U-turn by Google. The world's biggest media firm has agreed to introduce changes which will prevent depraved images and videos from appearing for more than 100,000 different searches. The company's chairman Eric Schmidt, writing in today's Daily Mail ahead of a Downing Street summit on internet pornography, says: 'We've listened.

We've listened - and here's how we'll halt this depravity: Google chief Eric Schmidt explains block on child porn

Eric Schmidt - Google

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt said the search giant has developed breakthrough technology that will allow illegal videos to be 'tagged' Last week 348 people were arrested in Canada – and 386 young kids rescued – in one of the largest child sex investigations ever seen. It defies belief that anyone would sexually abuse children, especially teachers and doctors entrusted with their care. But this awful case highlights the depths to which humanity can sink.

Boobs allowed: Bonds boobs row ruled 'storm in a b-cup'

Rosie Baker - Ad News

The boobs are OK. Bonds recent 'Boobs' ad has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the Advertising Standards Bureau, after it attracted complaints that it was degrading to women. The ad, which used the familiar Bonds branding to spell out the word boobs on billboards, drew criticism that it was discriminatory, objectified, exploited and degraded women, and used inappropriate language.

Donor Conception & Surrogacy

It’s time to make paid surrogacy legal in New York

Leslie Morgan Steiner - New York Post

In 1984, a New Jersey woman named Mary Beth Whitehead agreed to be a surrogate mother for a childless couple, William and Betsy Stern. Whitehead’s own eggs were used and after the girl, Baby M, was born, Whitehead made the emotional decision that she could not give up the baby. She ignored the contract she had signed and refused the $10,000 surrogacy payment.

Drugs & Alcohol

News reader Talitha Cummins reveals how giving up alcohol saved her life

Sophie Tedmanson - Herald Sun

Talitha Cummins knew for years that her drinking was spiralling out of control. It had landed her in hospital, led to two-day binges, regular blackouts, her work was suffering, her health was deteriorating and the television newsreader had started to get careless about her appearance.

New laws to take vulnerable babies


Should pregnant women with a drug abuse, alcohol problem or in a domestic violence situation have their babies taken away from them? The NSW government is preparing to introduce laws to allow authorities to take babies at birth from women in such situations if they fail to address their problems.


Welcome to Adelaide's House of Death - voluntary euthanasia crusader Dr Philip Nitschke sets up clinic in a Gilberton cottage

Brad Couch - Herald Sun

This quiet suburban cottage, once a busy corner grocery store, is where a growing stream of Australians will converge planning to end their own lives. The circa-1900 building - simply called "my facility" by voluntary euthanasia crusader Dr Philip Nitschke - has two rooms devoted to helping people commit suicide.

Down Under palliative care specialists reject euthanasia

Xavier Symons - Bio Edge

Palliative care is undermined by euthanasia and assisted suicide, according to many palliative care organisations. In Australia, where end-of-life issues are hotly debated, the peak palliative care body has joined the chorus of opposition.


ANU study finds problem gambling seen as 'moral' issue

Peter Jean - The Canberra Times

Australians tend to be sympathetic towards people with alcohol and other drug addictions who seek help but often view problem gambling as a "moral failing'', according to new research. ANU researchers say public health strategies, such as those used to tackle alcohol abuse and discourage smoking, should be adopted to help combat gambling addiction.


We need to talk about hepatitis C

Gregory Dore - ABC

The death of musician Lou Reed from liver cancer may raise awareness of the challenges of living with hepatitis C, but more work needs to be done to make sure treatments are widely available, writes Professor Gregory Dore.

Violence against mental health staff

Henrietta Cook - The Age

A bomb threat in a psychiatric unit and a patient revolt that resulted in up to five staff being injured are among dozens of violent workplace incidents reported to a hotline for mental health workers. In the past month, 21 critical incidents were reported to the Health and Community Service Union's phone hotline, up from about 14 incidents the previous month. Staff are despairing. They say they became nurses to care for people, not to be assaulted.

Human Rights

MPs unite against domestic violence


Federal MPs want every Australian man to take the White Ribbon Oath against violence directed at women. Backbenchers from both sides united on Monday to back a call by Labor MP Chris Hayes to raise awareness about Australia's "shameful secret" of violence against women. The motion comes ahead of White Ribbon Day on November 25.


Aboriginal victims of Tennant Creek's addiction

Mike Bowden - Eureka Street

Last Monday as I passed through Tennant Creek on my way to Alice Springs, I tuned into ABC local radio and heard Jordan Jenkins, owner of the Tennant Creek Hotel, let the cat out of the bag: Tennant Creek is addicted. 'I mean, we are not going to go bankrupt so police can present stats to people,' he said. And so the liquor licensees of the town are pulling out of an alliance with police designed to reduce alcohol related harm.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Boko Haram forces Christian women to be sex slaves


Reuters interviewed Hajja on November 6, 2013 and reported the terrorist group is now kidnapping Christian women and force them to be slave brides for their fighters. The group's name means "Western education is forbidden" and wants to make Nigeria an Islamic state.


Trading misery

Sarah Ferguson and Clay Hichens - ABC

In September a boat carrying 72 asylum seekers sank in stormy waters off the coast of Indonesia. Most of the people onboard drowned, many of them children. The majority of passengers came from Lebanon. They'd been persuaded to part with hundreds of thousands of dollars to go on a vessel they had been told was seaworthy and well equipped with food and safety equipment. They had been deceived. Four Corners reporter Sarah Ferguson goes on the trail of the people smugglers who organised the boat.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi addresses crisis of Christian ‘hemorrhaging’

Elizabeth Dias - Time

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, the United Kingdom’s first Minister of Faith, came to Washington last week on a mission to stop the global persecution of Christians. Warsi, the first Muslim ever to serve in a British Cabinet, spoke Friday at Georgetown University about recent militant extremism in the Middle East against Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox Christians. Her goal? Cross-faith, cross-continent unity to protect Christian minorities. “We need a new approach,” she tells TIME. “Of course there have been times when faiths have been at each other, but there are real periods in history where faiths have coexisted and have been incredibly supportive.”

Sexualisation of Society

How porn is rewiring men's brains

Nisha Lilia Diu - SMH

There's a scene in Don Jon, Joseph Gordon-Levitt's new comedy about a womanising New Jersey stud with a rabid porn habit, in which Julianne Moore's charac er gently breaks it to Jon that the sex they had was, well, not that good.

I felt I was there to fulfil his needs: girls speak out about sexual pressure

Melinda Tankard Reist blog

Molly, 16, (at their request, only first names are used) was asleep in the home of a friend after a party a year ago when a boy snuck into the room.


Catholic Church resurgence credited with popularity of Pope Francis

Charles Miranda - News Ltd

After years in decline, the Roman Catholic Church is experiencing a resurgence in popularity with Pope Francis credited with filling the pews again. Catholics across the globe are apparently going back to church inspired by the charismatic Argentinian-born Pope Francis and his refreshing approach to modernise the church.