Abortion bill defeated in NSW Parliament

“The decision of the NSW Legislative Council to reject Greens MP Mehreen Faruqi’s extreme abortion bill is a win for both women and unborn children in the state, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.

The Abortion Law Reform (Miscellaneous Acts Amendment) Bill 2016 sought to make abortion legal up to birth, remove the rights of doctors to conscientiously object, and ban prayer vigils and sidewalk counselling outside abortion facilities or be subject to 12 months in prison or a $16,500 fine.

ACL NSW director Mark Makowiecki said the bill did not include any safeguards for women seeking abortion, nor did it require abortion practitioners to hold a medical qualification. …”

– from an Australian Christian Lobby media release.

And from Paul Green, MLC, Christian Democratic Party:

“We have received hundreds of emails and letters, including a correspondence from the Catholic and Anglican Archbishops. As well as support of over 55,000 people signing and promoting petitions regarding this Bill.

I also commend the work of organisations such as Australian Christian Lobby, Abortion Rethink, Canberra Declaration and many more for vocally standing against this Bill. Rather than decriminalising abortion, we need to review our attitudes and practices to ensure there are appropriate safeguards for the well-being of the unborn child, the woman, and others impacted by the decision.

We need to address the underlying causes and provide women with real alternatives to unplanned pregnancies that are not going to expose them to further harm.”

(both via e-mail)

Earlier post: Proposed Abortion Law changes in NSW.

Proposed Abortion Law changes in NSW

Update:

We understand that the proposed bills are likely to be debated this week – on Thursday 11th May.

Important news:

“Two NSW Private Member’s Bills relating to abortion may be debated in the NSW Parliament in the next month.

One in particular will completely remove any legal regulation of abortions in the State. It will also have serious consequences for religious freedom and free speech. …

This Bill was introduced into Parliament on 11 August, 2016, by Dr Mehreen Faruqi, Greens MLC. If enacted it would make sweeping changes to the law of abortion in NSW. It would allow the killing of an unborn child at any stage prior to birth.

It would impose a serious burden on the religious freedom of medical practitioners who have a conscientious objection to abortion. It would also seriously impede rights of religious freedom and free speech of those who would wish to protest against abortion near abortion clinics…

– At Law and Religion Australia, Neil Foster, Associate Professor in Law at Newcastle, discusses proposed abortion law changes in NSW which, if passed into law, would have far-reaching consequences. (Emphasis added.)

Related:

The Australian Christian Lobby describes the first bill as “The Worst Abortion Laws… Ever.” and is one of the groups organising petitions to the President and Members of the Legislative Council.

If you wish to sign their petition, please note the important information to ensure it is acceptable.

Christians under siege, religious freedom inquiry hears

“A Melbourne IT specialist engaged to work on the Safe Schools program was sacked after privately expressing concerns about the contentious initiative during a staff meeting, with his employer later accusing him of ‘creating an unsafe work environment’. …

His predicament is just one of several cases of discrimination ­alleged by Christians or opponents of same-sex marriage that have come to light as part of the inquiry, which, in the wake of the Coopers Brewery fiasco, has heightened concerns about free speech and a growing intolerance towards traditional views.”

– Report from today’s The Australian.

Can kids tell other kids about Jesus at school?

“Astonishingly, the answer to the question posed here, recently provided by the Queensland Department of Education and Training is: No!

In their latest reviews of material used in Special Religious Instruction (SRI) offered in public schools in that State, they assert as follows:

While not explicitly prohibited by the [relevant legislation], nor referenced in the [Departmental published] RI policy statement, the Department expects schools to take appropriate action if aware that students participating in RI are evangelising to students who do not participate in their RI class, given this could adversely affect the school’s ability to provide a safe, supportive and inclusive environment for all students.

(This statement is found both in the Report on the Review of the GodSpace Religious Instruction Materials, March 2017, at para 3.1.1 on p 5, and in the Report on the Review of the ACCESS ministries’ Religious Instruction Materials, Feb 2017, at para 3.1.1 on p 6.)

In this post I want to explain why this over-reaching bureaucratic imposition is not justified by the law governing the Department’s activities, and indeed is probably illegal. …”

– Posted a few days ago, Neil Foster, Associate Professor in Law at Newcastle, gives his opinion on directives from the Queensland Department of Education and Training.

Australian Presbyterians — Taking God Seriously


Presbyterian Moderator-General John Wilson outlines some of the ways Presbyterians in Australia plan to celebrate Reformation 500 – with evangelism!

See the video here. (3’42”)

The Rainbow Ringwraiths

“Totalitarians and fascists have always sought to demonise their opponents, in part by marking them out from the ‘normal’ majority. They are clearly identified one way or another as recalcitrants, and treated accordingly. Simply consider how Jews fared as the Nazi regime occupied various European countries: being forced to wear a yellow badge in the form of a Star of David.

Millions of our young men gave their lives to fight these totalist regimes and to preserve our cherished freedoms. But a new totalitarianism is descending upon the West, and it comes in the form of the militant and totalitarian rainbow activists. …”

– Bill Muehlenberg at CultureWatch has more on the ‘voluntary’ wearing of rings to promote same-sex marriage.

‘A ring to bind them to their master’s will’

“Bosses at big companies like Qantas and Google have ‘suggested’ their employees wear black rings with a gap to show they support same-sex marriage. Or show that they have a future at their company, perhaps, because it’s not quite clear how this push for ‘tolerance’ quite works now. …”

– Andrew Bolt reports on a concerning move — Herald Sun.

More:

Firms ring in campaign for marriage equalityThe Australian.

“Qantas staff and cabin crew would wear them, he said, while Google Australia has also provided rings for its 1300 staff to wear. ‘Our goal is to build ­momentum around the issue of marriage equality and spark those conversations about ­acceptance,’ Mr McDonagh said.

The move is likely to fire up the debate about the role of corporations as lobbyists for contentious social causes, which has attracted criticism from some conservative politicians and religious leaders in light of the recent public hounding of brewer Coopers into pledging support for Australian Marriage Equality.”

Airbnb calls for marriage equality — AdNews.

“Launched with support from some of Australia’s biggest brands including Qantas, Google, ANZ bank and eBay, and in collaboration with The Equality Campaign, ‘Until We All Belong’ marks the most public corporate declaration for marriage equality in Australia to date.”

Image: AdNews.

Anglican Archbishop Glenn Davies slams same-sex marriage activists

“The Anglican Archbishop of Sydney­ has branded radical same-sex marriage campaigners as a ‘barge of bullies’ who are swamping the public debate with an ‘intro­spective, authoritarian den­ial of free speech’.

Writing in The Australian today, Glenn Davies says the corporate world in Australia has been ‘press-ganged’ into supporting marriage equality and backing div­ersity by gay activists. ‘What kind of diversity is so monochrome that it does not allow differing­ expressions of opinion in the debate?’ he says. ‘This narrow-minded, freedom-restricting carping is what the same-sex marriage­ campaign has come to.’…”

– Story from The Australian.

Here is an excerpt from Archbishop Davies’ piece –

There is only one upside from the recent attacks and unprecedented abuse directed at an academic and the directors of Christian organisations: people are beginning to wake up and take notice. They are starting to understand that the campaign for same-sex marriage is not sailing on a raft of rainbows but on a barge of bullies.

Last week there was the IBM executive whose position was questioned because he was a ­director of the Lachlan Macquarie Institute. He was the subject of attack in his previous employment as well.

Then there was the Christian academic who had not even entered the same-sex marriage debate, whose university was pres­sured over his employment which, it was claimed, conflicted with its membership in the so-called Pride in Diversity campaign. What kind of diversity is so monochrome that it does not allow differing expressions of opinion in the debate?

Not only has this minority view tried to swamp the public debate with its introspective, authoritarian denial of free speech, it has struck at the heart of Australian democracy and the freedoms that we all cherish. …”

– Read the full article – on page 14 of the print edition of today’s Australian – or in their digital edition (paywalled).

Anglican Aid launches Cyclone Debbie appeal

“Anglican Aid is launching an appeal for those who have lost their livelihoods in Cyclone Debbie. We are asking Christians in Sydney to stand in fellowship with our brothers and sisters in northern Queensland who have been affected by the cyclone.”

Details from Anglican Aid. (Image: NASA DSCOVR / EPIC Team.)

Calls for Macquarie University to distance themselves from Christian Academic

In the latest case in a growing line of stories, Dr Steve Chavura, a Senior Research Associate at Macquarie University, has been the subject of calls for his dismissal from the university. …

It should be noted that Dr Chavura is not the first LMI board member to receive attention in recent days, indeed these stories a fast becoming common place around the country. For example: …”

Murray Campbell looks at the latest ‘take no captives’ approach in the culture wars.

(Interestingly, Dr. Chavura’s “research interests include … philosophical issues relating to freedom of speech”.)

Christian leaders slam ‘appalling and unAustralian’ gay activists

“The nation’s most senior Christian leaders have described as ‘appalling’ and ‘unAustralian’ attacks from gay activists that have driven two Christian charities to request board secrecy.

And the Sydney Anglican Archbishop Glenn Davies has slammed the multinational corporates who surrender to those ­attacks as ‘weak-kneed’.”

– Story from The Australian. (paywalled). File photo of Abp Davies: Moore College.

Related: Another Christian persecuted by Gay LeftHerald Sun.

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