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.




Are 98% of UK abortions “technically illegal”?

Michael Cook - Bio Edge

Peter Saunders, CEO of the Christian Medical Fellowship points out, “This means that when doctors authorise abortions in order to protect a woman’s mental health they are doing it so on the basis of a false belief not supported by the medical evidence. In other words the vast majority of abortions in this country are technically illegal.”

Children & Family

Does 2.4 still = the ideal number?

Kerry McCarthy - News Limited newspapers

Babies are booming! The world welcomed the seventh billion citizen in October and Earth’s population is expected to hit nine billion by 2050. While some say bigger is better, the strain seven billion of us are putting on the world’s resources is leading others to call for a population slow-down.

Girls of 11 and 12 now mums

Brigid O'Connell - Sunday Herald

Twenty-seven Victorian girls aged under 15 - including two 11 year olds and two 12 year olds - have become mothers in the past two years. Births Deaths and Marriages has refused to release the exact birth ages of Victorian women, but the shocking numbers have been obtained under Freedom of Information from the Department of Justice after six months of bureaucratic wrangling and legal consultation by the department.

The appalling behaviour of the so-called Bali Boy is a symptom of much wider issue

Piers Akerman - The Sunday Telegraph

To find out how dysfunction develops in families we can look to the innovative work of the NSW Auditor-General Peter Achterstraat. "We are in danger at the moment of having the generation of young school children who think the only young adult role models are film celebrities, pop stars or football players." Achterstraat's views parallel findings of research into mentoring conducted by the Wesley Mission. The report, Give Kids A Chance: Seeing A Better Future With Mentoring, said that more than half of all young people have no real clarity about what they want to do in life.

Youth mentor schemes get the chop

Peter Rolfe - Sunday Herald Sun

A series of youth mentor programs aimed at steering troubled youths away from crime will be axed on December 31 as the Baillieu Government embarks on a $2 billion prison building program. Up to 30 early intervention programs designed to teach young people to say no to drugs, alcohol and violence and convince them to stay in school will have funding withdrawn.

Donor Conception & Surrogacy

US politician helps out with sperm


A conservative US politician has donated sperm to several New Zealand women without the knowledge of his wife or fertility doctors. Bill Johnson, who unsuccessfully ran for the governorship of Alabama in 2009, has spent most of this year in Christchurch, working as the New Zealand recovery manager for international disaster recovery company Ceres.

Drugs & Alcohol

Grisly drugs replacing ecstasy

Francis Stewart - The Canberra Times

Potentially more addictive and harmful drugs are filling the gap as ecstasy use declines in the ACT, with scientists yet to understand the long-term effects of more than 40 new psychoactive substances. The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre warns synthetic stimulants and psychedelic drugs could be more dangerous than ecstasy.


Coalition's poll favours $1 pokie bet

Stephanie Peatling - SMH

Thousands of people have told the federal Coalition they support tougher action on problem pokies gambling, including $1 maximum bets and mandatory pre-commitment. The opposition frontbencher Malcolm Turnbull will this week release the results of an online poll he conducted to gauge community views on what should be done.

Casino buses in migrants who hope 'to live beyond their means'

Heath Aston - SMH

The Star casino has drawn up plans to lure away low-income and migrant gamblers, whom its research acknowledges often believe playing poker machines will improve their financial status, from Sydney's biggest registered clubs. The Sun-Herald has obtained a copy of the casino's 24-page blueprint to boost revenues from its 1500 pokies by targeting the city's most compulsive gamblers in the catchment areas of big clubs around Bankstown and Liverpool.


Abbott demands Coalition unity on gay marriage vote

Sue Dunleavy - The Australian

Tony Abbott has toughened his position against a conscience vote on gay marriage, declaring that every member of the Coalition was elected on a platform that marriage was only between a man and a woman. While the Opposition Leader says the party's position on a conscience vote still has to be discussed at a shadow cabinet meeting this week and in the party room next year he thinks it is important politicians keep the promises they make to the electorate.

Tsunami-sized backlash on same-sex marriage looms

Barry Cohen - The Australian

Anyone wondering why the Labor Party is having a lean time need only to have watched the federal conference to understand why. With the world on the brink of another global financial crisis, the representatives of the workers decided that the issue of the day was whether Bruce and Bob or Barbara and Betty could marry. I tried to imagine the reactions of John Curtin, Ben Chifley or Arthur Calwell. I doubt they would have been impressed.

First Gillard breaks her promise, and then she lies about it

Andrew Bolt – Herald Sun

This is deceitful, and I doubt a single Christian who believed Julia Gillard’s promise before the election will respect her evasion now.

New Bill exempts priests

Phillip Thomson - The Canberra Times

Priests would not be forced to marry gay couples if it is against their practice under a Greens Bill to be introduced to the House of Representatives next year. Senator Sarah Hanson-Young and Melbourne MP Adam Bandt wrote to Opposition Leader Tony Abbott on Friday to ask him to allow Coalition MPs a conscience vote on an amendment Bill that would effectively legalise gay marriage.


Julia Gillard stamps her authority with new-look team

Sid Maher - The Australian

Julia Gillard will today announce a ministerial reshuffle promoting Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten, as she moves to inject fresh blood into an expanded cabinet and increase the focus on key economic and social policy priorities. The Prime Minister yesterday discussed key portfolio positions in a series of telephone calls with senior ministers as she moved to reshape her line-up for next year.

Gillard's expansive rejig to limit making of new enemies

Phillip Coorey – SMH

Julia Gillard will expand her cabinet rather than force some people out against their will in a reshuffle designed to minimise the backlash against her leadership while reshaping the government for the year ahead.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Fiji cracks down on sex work

Rowan Callick - The Australian

The military regime in Fiji is taking on a new target: sex workers. The army - which has vowed not to consider elections until 2014 - has already moved to subjugate the Methodist church, the chiefs, the trade unions and women's organisations.

Sunday nights with John Cleary

Dale Stephenson from Crossway Baptist Church on Sunday Nights with John Cleary

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Matyr Maria Goretti of Pakistan on sale under Islamic sharia

Pakistan Christian Post

A Christian girl named Mariah Manisha killed by a Muslim on defying enforced conversion and Islamic marriage was put on sale under Islamic Sharia law of “Compensation” by rich influential family of killer and Islamic clerics in Pakistan. A Catholic Christian girl named Mariah aged 18, was allegedly kidnapped on gunpoint by a Muslim named Mohammad Arif Gujjar on November 27, 2011, when she was on way to get drinking water with her mother.

Sexualisation of Society

Family groups teed off by sleazy shirts spark call for review of offensive material legislation

Jackie Sinnerton - The Sunday Mail (Qld)

Raunchy T-shirts selling in Queensland's shopping centres have sparked a call for a review of offensive material legislation.

T-Shirts with crude messages have now hit mainstream shopping malls courtesy of the big brands. New-season T-shirts from sports brand Adidas include one emblazoned with a topless girl in a sexy pose.


Outrage at a Centrelink abuse survey in $5 million taxpayer-funded study

Anthony Gough - The Sunday Telegraph

Centrelink customers are being quizzed on everything from drug use to sexual abuse as part of a $5 million taxpayer-funded study that is leaving many humiliated and distressed. The study of 1600 people by Roy Morgan researchers, has outraged family and domestic violence groups. Researchers visit a claimant's home and pay them $40 for the wide-ranging interview, in which they are asked about drug use and whether they suffered sexual assault or domestic abuse. The researchers receive two days' training to tackle the complicated and sensitive survey questions.

Bishop designate is listening to her Boss

Leesha McKenny- SMH

It is almost 20 years since an injunction filed in Sydney prevented the Anglican diocese of Canberra and Goulburn from ordaining the Australian church's first female priests. That anniversary will be marked in a service in February as the diocese prepares to celebrate another milestone - the consecration of NSW's first female bishop, Genieve Blackwell, 49.

Service exploited job seeker's success

Linton Besser – SMH

Twenty years ago, Denise Harrison, then 25, replied to an advertisement seeking a dental assistant at a surgery. Since then, Dr Stephen Chin has been a constant, employing her in between life's biggest moments - the birth of her three chil ren and her moving between the central coast and Sydney. He even supported her while she trained for a trade certificate.

Catholic Church accused of duping Tax Office in multibillion-dollar jobs scheme

Linton Besser - SMH

The Catholic Church's employment arm has been systematically rorting the taxpayer-funded welfare-to-work program, defrauding large sums from the multibillion-dollar scheme. It is one of a number of employment agencies that are exploiting loopholes in the $4.7 billion Job Services Australia program, a federal initiative to assist the long-term unemployed find work.