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.




'I was bullied into aborting my baby'

Alison Squire Smith -

Every morning when Marie Ideson wakes, her first thought is of a little girl called Lillie. Were she alive today, she’d be six years old. And although Lillie would’ve had Down syndrome, Ideson is sure of one thing: “Despite any disability, my daughter would have been incredibly well-loved. Whatever her future was, I’d have always been there for her.” Yet when she was just over 16 weeks pregnant - and after tests showed her daughter had Down syndrome - Marie did something that still torments her: She underwent a termination.

Donor Conception & Surrogacy

World expert calls for new debate on 'commercial surrogacy'

Kate Hagan - The Age

Women prepared to act as surrogates for infertile couples could be paid for their time to avoid 'reproductive tourism', a Belgian expert says. Speaking at the World Congress on Human Reproduction in Melbourne yesterday, Ghent University head of bioethics Guido Pennings said he did not advocate commercial surrogacy, which was illegal in Australia and most other countries.

Drugs & Alcohol

Judge us by the Red Frog instead

Andrew Bolt - Herald Sun

My son is back from schoolies, and his war stories have turned my hair one shade greyer. My God, the rollcall of the drunk and absolutely paralytic. I’ve since checked and found that the people who so impressed my son were from a much-mocked group. Yes, Christians. They were mostly in their 20s and belonged to Red Frogs, an outreach program with 1300 volunteers - so many - at schoolies’ events around Australia. It was started by Andy Gourley, of Brisbane’s Citipointe Church, who said the hardest thing in his work was dealing with our drinking culture.

Alcohol crackdown nets 1,500 arrests


Police around the nation have arrested more than 1,500 people over the weekend as part of a blitz on alcohol-fuelled violence. Operation Unite saw more than 380 arrests in New South Wales, which is less than last year. Queensland police arrested about 300 people, Victoria recorded 200 arrests and in Western Australia 800 people were arrested.

Addicts aren't necessarily bad mothers, study finds

Adele Horin – SMH

Many mothers with a history of serious drug use are still capable of caring for their children, given the right support, a new study has found. But most mothers in the state's methadone programs were not getting the services they needed.


Does the slippery slope to euthanasia make sense?

Michael Cook - BioEdge

In the latest issue of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, British bioethicist David Albert Jones makes a vigorous defence of a famous statement of the slippery slope from voluntary active euthanasia (VAE) to nonvoluntary active euthanasia (NVAE) made by Georgetown University scholar John Keown in 2002.


Casino giveaway takes away

Heath Aston - SMH

A woman walks into the casino to pick up a free wok offered to her in a promotional giveaway. She leaves two days later having lost $30,000 in a 48-hour poker machine bender. At one point, staff at The Star had to clear cash out of the machine she was playing because it could not accept any more $100 notes. The 49-year-old woman, from Rosemeadow, in Sydney's south-west, was left ''devastated'' and with a ''gambling hangover'' when it dawned on her she had just thrown away a large part of her dead husband's financial legacy in her gaming binge.


Labor faces pulpit-led backlash on gay marriage

Matthew Franklin and Ean Higgins - The Australian

Labor's approval of gay marriage has sparked a pulpit-led revolt and accusations that Julia Gillard has breached an election promise to protect the Marriage Act.

Gay marriage push is a slippery slope

Andrew Bolt - Herald Sun

When you destroy the traditional idea of a marriage being between a man and a woman, in favour of a union between any two consenting adults, you invite more changes. Why stop at two? Why not also "respect" unions between a man and two women? After all, polygamy has what same sex marriage does not - religious backing in Islam, and historical precedents everywhere.

Abbott dismisses calls for gay marriage conscience vote


Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says it is unlikely Coalition MPs will be given a conscience vote on gay marriage. Labor figures have been urging Mr Abbott to grant his members a conscience vote after delegates at the ALP national conference voted on Saturday to change the party policy to endorse same sex marriage.

ALP challenges Tony Abbott to agree to gay marriage conscience vote in parliament

Sue Dunlevy - The Australian

A day after the Labor Party defied its Prime Minister and voted to change its platform to allow gay marriage, Defence Minister Stephen Smith has called on Tony Abbott to explain why he won't allow Coalition MPs a conscience vote on the issue. Mr Smith, who supports gay marriage says he believes a bill on the matter would be supported in parliament if a conscience vote is allowed.

Labor divided after gay marriage backing


The federal Labor Party remains divided over gay marriage despite yesterday voting to change its policy to endorse it. Opponents of same-sex marriage say Labor's new stance will cost votes, while those in favour are angry at the compromise position which gives Labor MPs a conscience vote.

Labor's shift in policy on same-sex marriage marks a historic change for the party

Dennis Shanahan - The Australian

Labor's policy change to support same-sex marriage is an historic change for the ALP and will carry deep ramifications for Julia Gillard and her government through to the next election. Rainbow Labor has had a significant victory in changing the policy platform to alter the Marriage Act to allow same-sex marriage which is symbolic of a shift within the ALP away from the dominance of the traditional right-wing.

Rudd in buoyant mood at same-sex celebration

Andrew Crook - Crikey

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has sparked intense speculation he may be reconsidering his view on same-sex marriage after a stellar show of support with Rainbow Labor activists at a drinks session last night. Rudd mingled and posed for happy snaps with gay activists as darkness fell at Cohibar at Darling Harbour’s charmingly-garish Harbourside shopping mall. He extended his warm congratulations on numerous occasions over changes made earlier in the day to the ALP’s platform to recognise same-sex relationships.

Labor swings both ways but struggles to pick up votes

Phillip Coorey – SMH

Veterans of ALP national conferences well remember what became known as the holy hand grenade, which John Howard rolled down the stairs at the 2000 event in Hobart.


Is the party over for Labor?

Laurie Oakes - The Punch

When Gough Whitlam set out to reform the Labor Party and its structure in the 1960s, he was prepared to risk everything in the cause. “You’ve got to crash through or you’ve got to crash,” he said. And he put first the deputy leadership, and then the leadership, on the line in a series of battles to achieve necessary change. Now Labor needs reforming again. Urgently. Party elders warn it will wither and die unless drastic action is taken. “We are a small party getting smaller, we are an old party getting older,” John Faulkner told a meeting of MPs and organizers recently.

Sex, lies, drugs and the Liberal Party: officials grill potential candidates

Linda Silmalis - The Sunday Telegraph

Liberal Party officials are asking potential candidates to confess to a host of potential personal embarrassments like "any sexual affairs", drink driving or gambling debts. The ramped-up screening process is designed to weed out any candidates who could damage Tony Abbott's bid to win government. The Sunday Telegraph can reveal the rigorous and deeply personal official candidate questionnaire in a week when former NSW Labor minister Ian MacDonald's embarrassing tryst with a prostitute was unravelling before the corruption watchdog.

A good time had by all - shame they ignored the big political challenges

Peter Hartcher – SMH

Labor's three-day national conference proved the adage that politics is like sex - you don't have to be good at it to enjoy it. The operatives enjoyed themselves true to type. The Left won the big arguments, the Right won the big votes.

Prostitution & Sex Trafficking

Seoul, Canberra clash on sex trade

Rick Wallace - The Australian

Australian and South Korea are on a collision course over claims of people-trafficking involving some of the 1000 women from Korea said to be working in Australian brothels. South Korean officials told the local media their government planned to send prosecutors to Australia to help investigate "large-scale prostitution rings". But the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade issued a statement last night denying this.

Religious Freedom & Persecution

Islamists sweep early results in Egypt

Adam Plowright -

Early results from Egypt's first post-revolution election show Islamist parties sweeping to victory, including hardline Salafists, with secular parties trounced in many areas. The prospect of an Islamist-dominated parliament raises fears among liberals about civil liberties, religious freedom in a country with the Middle East's largest Christian minority, and tolerance of multi-party democracy.


Refugee rise to strain budget: opposition


Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison says Labor's proposed near 50 per cent increase in Australia's refugee intake will strain existing resettlement programs and hit the federal budget. Immigration Minister Chris Bowen's proposal to lift Australia's annual intake of refugees to 20,000 from 13,750 was supported at the ALP national conference on Saturday.