The ACL compiles a daily media monitoring services of stories of interest relating to children, family, drugs and alcohol, marriage, human rights, religious freedom etc. See here to read what's in the news today.


ALP group to oppose abortions

Henrietta Cook - Canberra Times
A new splinter group that wants to ban abortions has emerged within ACT Labor. The non-factional group is calling itself Labor for Life ACT and hopes to drum up support for the legal protection of foetuses. Australian Christian Lobby ACT director Nick Jensen has thrown his support behind the group. In a letter addressed to supporters Mr Jensen said the non-factional group was ''dedicated to promoting pro-life causes within the Labor Party and amongst Labor supporters''.

Children & Family
Fatherless boys become dads earlier: study

Young boys whose dads don't live at home are more likely to become fathers in their early 20s, new research shows. According to the British study, it also linked absent dads to delays in their sons experiencing the key puberty milestone of voice-breaking. The researchers suggested it was possible the stress associated with not having a father around could have an effect on adolescent hormones and delay puberty.

Fly-in fly-out roster the 'worst invention' for families says Men's Rights Agency
Daniel Hamilton - ABC
An advocate for men's rights has slammed the concept of fly-in fly-out working shifts claiming it can destroy the family unit. Last week the Queensland state government said it would allow 20 per cent of the Bowen Basin mining work force to fly in and fly out at the beginning and end of shifts. A typical roster sees workers do seven days from the mine site and stay in provided for accommodation then fly back to be home for the next seven days.

Suffer our vulnerable children
The Australian – editorial
A mirror has been held up to Australian society and it reflects a disturbing picture. "For Kids' Sake", researched and written by Sydney University family law professor Patrick Parkinson, shows that one of the world's most prosperous nations is failing far too many children.

Donor Conception & Surrogacy
Booming reproductive tourism in Asia threatens local medical services

Jared Yee - Bioedge
Local health services in low income countries and women of reproductive age are the little-publicised victims of booming demand for cheap assisted reproduction from people in rich countries, a review in the journal Reproductive Health says. Andrea Whittaker, of the University of Queensland, says she is especially concerned about the lack of regulatory systems to prevent and lower exploitation of medical resources and women for surrogacy in poorer countries. Asia, India and Thailand are major hubs for assisted reproduction treatments.

Drugs & Alcohol
Service stations and convenience stores float alcohol sales proposal

Meredith Booth - The Advertiser
Owners of service stations and 24-hour convenience stores have launched a bid to sell alcohol. The Australasian Association of Convenience Stores - which counts Smokemart, On the Run and BP franchise owner Peregrine Corp among its members - has asked the Productivity Commission to consider the proposal. If stores could sell alcohol it would even the playing field with the big supermarkets, which are allowed to have bottle shops, executive director Jeff Rogut said. "We're not suggesting that we trade in alcohol 24 hours a day ... this is a major barrier for our members looking to survive," he said.

States moving to ban the bong
Mel McMillan - Northern Star
The bong seems set to become a clandestine collector's item as states across the country legislate to ban the drug-smoking apparatus. Last month Western Australia banned the bong, with Victoria acting to make possession of one illegal from January 1 next year. The sale, supply and possession of a bong for the purpose of taking drugs became illegal in NSW last year.

New choice for school chaplaincy program
Sarah-Jane Collins - The Age
For the first time since the introduction of the controversial national school chaplaincy program, schools will be able to choose whether to use their funding for a chaplain or a secular welfare officer. Schools Minister Peter Garrett yesterday announced the changes to the Howard government program, saying funding would be extended to schools that want to employ student welfare officers instead.

Refer also Govt must find new money for secular school workers, not dilute chaplaincy money

Public puts its trust in chaplaincy program
Peter Garrett – Brisbane Times
After consultation with the public the Gillard Government is revamping the controversial chaplaincy program. Whenever I go to a school which has employed a school chaplain, I usually hear from students, parents and teachers what a great job that chaplain is doing, and what a positive influence they've had in the school community.

Outcry over lost Christian dates
The West
Religious leaders in WA have condemned a decision to replace the terms Before Christ and Anno Domini in the national history curriculum as an attempt to remove religious references from society. Instead of using BC and AD to define calendar eras, students will be able to refer to Before the Common Era (BCE) and Common Era (CE).

School chaplains program defrocked
Evonne Barry - Herald Sun
Schools will be allowed to hire non-religious welfare workers in a revised chaplaincy program.

Sydney Islamic school told of payment breaches
Leo Shanahan - The Australian
The principal of a Sydney Islamic school that has been paying millions of dollars in rental and management fees to Australia's peak Muslim body was given advice three years ago that the practice was likely to be in breach of government guidelines.

Marriage at the heart of a crucial commitment to children

Patrick Parkinson - SMH
In Child Protection Week, it is good to take stock of how our most vulnerable children and young people are doing. It would be nice to report that after 25 years of enormous effort to protect Australian children, things are getting better. The reality is, however, that the child protection system is experiencing more strain than ever before, and, as the Herald reported on Tuesday, there are some alarming signs of a rapid deterioration in the wellbeing of many teenagers - especially teenage girls.

Suspicious of same-sex lobby
Catholic Leader
The campaign by homosexual lobby groups and the mainstream media, in support of so-called same-sex "marriage" should be taken seriously. However, the story by Bruce Ryan while containing a number of worthwhile comments, was weak in some departments, such as his claim "the Church is sympathetic to same-sex couples, who wish to seal their commitment to one another in marriage". That is news to me.

Religious Persecution
Five Iranian believers must report to prison to serve one year sentence

Michael Ireland - ASSIST News Service
The five Iranian Christian believers and ministers who were convicted of crimes against the Islamic Order on March 8, 2011 in Shiraz, Iran have been told to report to prison immediately to serve a one-year prison sentence. According to Jason DeMars of Present Truth Ministries their names are: Behrouz Sadegh-Khandjani, Mehdi “Petros” Furutan, Mohammed “William” Belyad, Nazly Belyad, and Parviz Khalaj. DeMars told ANS that Nazly is about seven months pregnant.

Tony Abbott warned processing refugees on mainland will cause social unrest
Malcolm Farr -
Bringing asylum seekers onto the Australian mainland could lead to the social unrest which has caused violence and disruption across Paris and London, Tony Abbott was warned. It comes as the Government believes 600 people a month would enter Australia without checks on their status unless the processing of refugees was done off-shore.

Officials warn of boat influx
Michelle Grattan - The Age
More than 600 people could arrive by boat every month, leading to the collapse of Australia's detention system and European-style unrest in its cities, if there is a return to onshore processing of all asylum seekers, according to a bleak assessment from senior Canberra officials.

An arm-wrestle with no result yet
The Age
Both Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott claim we must send a tough message to people smugglers, but their arm-wrestle is signalling only confusion and political point-scoring.

A question of humanity
Petro Georgiou - The Age
Asylum seeker policy is a political and legal morass. Labor's ''elegant'' Malaysia solution has fallen over now that the High Court has determined that, under Howard government legislation, asylum seekers cannot be sent to a country that does not protect their human rights.

Boat rush all Labor's fault
Miranda Devine - Herald Sun
It is extraordinarily pig-headed of the Prime Minister to be in Auckland this week for the Pacific Islands Forum, and not take the opportunity to speak to Nauru's President Marcus Stephen about re-establishing offshore processing for boat people.

Sexualisation of Society
Not such a Pretty Woman: Mother dresses girl aged three as prostitute in Toddlers and Tiaras pageant
Daisy Dumus - Daily Mail
Tomorrow's episode of Toddlers and Tiaras may unleash a barrage of outrage in the direction of a three-year-old pageant queen's mother. The TLC show sees the woman dressing her young daughter, Paisley, as a prostitute, mimicking Julia Roberts' character from hit movie, Pretty Woman.