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.




Mother of 'miracle baby' who survived abortion credits God's intervention

Ravelle Mohammed - Christian Post

As the nation marks January as Sanctity of Life Month and thousands gather to march for the unborn, Tina Torry, whose baby survived an abortion, shares her story of how "divine intervention" saved her daughter's life. It was 1978 when Tina Torry, 17 at the time, became pregnant. Her boyfriend, family, and health care professionals were adamant that she have an abortion – as it was legal at the time, she told The Christian Post. "I had no moral support to keep the child," she said. "From day one, I was pointed to an abortion clinic. They never said consider adoption."

Children & Family

A divorce can never be good for children no matter how amicable it is, says study

Fiona Macrae - Daily Mail

There is no such thing as a good divorce when children are involved, a study has concluded.

The analysis of almost 1,000 families found that children suffer when their parents’ marriage ends – no matter how amicable the split. The researchers said their finding contradicts the widely-held belief that it is possible to have a ‘good divorce’ in which the children and adults emerge relatively unscathed.

Push to make smacking of children illegal

Staff Writer - The Daily Telegraph

Smacking kids can be tantamount to child abuse and should be banned in Australia, the nation's leading paediatricians said yesterday. Dr Gervase Chaney, the head of The Royal Australasian College of Physicians' Paediatric & Child Health Division, said it was no longer OK for mums and dads to argue "that it never did us any harm" and called on colleagues to stand up for children's rights. And Professor Frank Oberklaid, a paediatrician from Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital, said Australia was lagging behind other countries in outlawing smacking which, in some cases, could lead to abuse and even death.

One third of divorces in UK caused by Facebook in 2011

Luiza Oleszczuk - Christian Post

Divorce-Online surveyed 5,000 divorce petitions between 2009 and 2011. The main three reasons regarding Facebook-related causes for filing a divorce were: inappropriate messages sent to the opposite sex; posting nasty comments about former partners; and friends reporting a spouse's behavior on the social media website, according to Divorce-Online's blog post on the survey. Many people seem to be too careless about the power behind social media, and unaware that statements posted on Facebook and Twitter have legal validity.

Donor Conception & Surrogacy

Mother denied leave after surrogate birth

Josephine Tovey – Sydney Morning Herald

After many unsuccessful attempts at getting pregnant and enduring miscarriages, Susan* and her partner had the baby they had long wanted with the help of a surrogate. But they did not get the support they expected from her employer, the state government, with paid parental leave.

Drugs & Alcohol

Gambling industry are no dopes

Simon Tatz - ABC

Clubs Australia, the gambling industry and those who oppose poker machine reform, are creating a compelling argument to legalise drugs in Australia. The argument against pre-commitment technology and/or limiting the amount of money put through a pokie in one spin is equally a reasoned case for changing drug policy in Australia.


Man denies helping friend take his life

Christine Flatley - Ninemsn

A man accused of helping an elderly friend kill himself with a vet anaesthetic denies he bought the drug during a trip to Mexico, a Brisbane court has been told.


Pokies reform: Gillard pushing private over public interests

Matthew Holloway - Online Opinion

On the 30th of January Shadow Minister of Families Kevin Andrews hit out at the Gillard government over its poker reform deal with Andrew Wilkie. Minister Andrews pounced on revelations that Jenny Macklin’s office had received technical advice in April 2011 that the 2014 deadline for national poker reform could not be met.

Human Rights

Legal aid programs to be reviewed


A review of legal aid programs has been announced by the Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon. Ms Roxon said the Commonwealth-funded legal services would be scrutinised to ensure they were delivering the most cost-effective legal assistance services to those most in need. “Our commitment of more than $1.3 billion in legal assistance funding is the largest commitment in over a decade and is making a real difference around the country,” Ms Roxon said. “Applications are open for organisations to tender to complete the review.”


Emotions run high after Aboriginal girl's suicide

Sarah Martin – The Australian

A Remote Aboriginal community in South Australia where a nine-year-old killed herself has been barricaded to outsiders. As emotions run high, police are fearful of payback for her family members and the high risk of further suicides.


'Longest married couple' in the US together for 78 years

Catholic News

The Worldwide Marriage Encounter has announced the 2012 US winners of its Longest Married Couple contest: a Nevada couple who married in 1933, reports the Catholic News Agency. "The number of years many of these couples are married is just awesome," Scott and Karen Seaborn, the US leadership team for Worldwide Marriage Encounter, said of the contest entrants. "There are four couples married 78 years, many couples married 70 plus years and quite a few couples with 60 plus years of marriage. What a testament to having a commitment to a long marriage!"

Anglican clergy rebel over partnerships ban

The Times

The Church of England is facing a rebellion from its clergy over a ban on civil partnership ceremonies in its 16,000 churches. Nearly 100 clergy in the London diocese, one of the most traditionalist in the country, have signed a letter demanding the same rights for priests to hold civil partnership ceremonies in their churches as they have to celebrate the marriages of divorced couples.


Greens preference Communists in Port Adelaide by-election

Antony Green - ABC

When parties issue how-to-vote cards recommending preferences, they have several objectives. For major parties, where there is usually little chance that their candidates will have preferences distributed, the issue is usually about ensuring an easy to follow sequence of numbers. For major parties the main reason for recommending preferences is to ensure the party's supporters complete a formal vote. Which brings me to the strange decision of the Greens in the South Australian Port Adelaide by-election to give a second preference to the communist candidate.

A comedy of errors that’s not very funny

Tory Maguire - The Punch

In three days the whole Labor Caucus is due in Canberra to break out the white boards and textas and brainstorm some policy ideas for the year, then share a sausage sizzle at The Lodge. The MPs who’ve been summoned would be forgiven for demanding one of the areas up for discussion should be how the Prime Minister intends to turn around what’s been a terrible start to the year.

FWA chief calls in police over HSU row

Ean Higgins - The Australian

Fair Work Australia vice-president Michael Lawler has made sensational allegations to NSW police that two senior officials of the Health Services Union may have engaged in serious criminal activity. Mr Lawler, whose partner is HSU national secretary Kathy Jackson, has written to the head of Strike Force Carnarvon, Detective Inspector Dave Christie, making allegations against HSU East acting assistant general secretary Gerard Hayes and the union's former Victorian divisional secretary, Carol Glen.

Abbott takes campaign to Twitter

Paul Osborne – AAP

Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has used a lunch break from shadow cabinet to answer a barrage of questions on Twitter. Mr Abbott, who uses the hashtag @tonyabbottMHR and has just over Twitter 49,000 followers, announced on the social networking site at 1pm (AEDT) that he was "happy to take some questions for the next 15 minutes".

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Sex slavery charges after Sydney brothel raids


A man has been charged with sex slavery and trafficking offences after police rescued three Thai women from brothels in Sydney's south-west overnight. Five brothels were raided in Guildford, Cabramatta, Casula and Canley Heights by immigration officials and federal and NSW police. It is alleged the young women were told they were travelling to Australia on student visas. But police say they instead had their passports taken away when they arrived and were take to the brothels against their will and exploited sexually.

Alleged Denver metro area sex ring exemplifies national trend in human trafficking

Sara Burnett - The Denver Post

The crime ring had all the makings of a traditional street gang: A clear hierarchy, members who tattooed the group's name on their bodies, girlfriends at the ready to help cover their tracks. But rather than drugs and guns, the organization whose indictment was announced this week trafficked primarily in young girls, prosecutors have alleged. It's a trend that, according to experts, is growing, not just overseas or in big port cities but in towns across the United States.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Iranian Christian convert sentenced to two years in prison

Mohabat News

A Christian convert whom security authorities arrested in her home was sentenced to two years in prison by the Revolutionary Court in Tehran. According to reports sent by reporters of Iranian Christian news agency, Mohabat News, Ms. Leila Mohammadi, a Christian convert who resided east of Tehran, was sentenced to two years of imprisonment after enduring 5 months of uncertainty in notorious Evin prison.


Eight dead as asylum-seeker boat sinks near Malaysia

Lanai Vasek - The Australian

Another asylum-seeker boat with passengers bound for Australia has sunk, with reports eight people are dead and 18 have been rescued. Marine police official N.Kalai Chelvan said the boat was heading to Indonesia's Batam island early yesterday when it sank in choppy waters. He said the boat was carrying a group of men from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq who were likely trying to reach Australia through Indonesia.

Sexualisation of Society

'Sexualised' Romeo and Juliet ad removed from print

Matthew Westwood - The Australian

Nothing but death could part Romeo and Juliet, but Shakespeare's star-cross'd lovers have met a more mundane obstacle: the Advertising Standards Bureau. The watchdog has ruled that a theatre advertisement - showing two young people embracing in bed - depicts a teenager in a highly sexualised image. The Queensland Theatre Company ad shows 26-year-old actress Melanie Zanetti in bed with actor Thomas Larkin, also 26.