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ABORTION NOW LEGAL IN NSW

By Australian Newsletter

Lawmakers in New South Wales have voted to overturn a 119-year-old law criminalizing abortion, drawing criticism from pro-life advocates.  After many weeks of debate, the New South Wales parliament voted to pass the Abortion Law Reform Act 2019.  The bill decriminalizes abortion and makes terminations available to women up to 22 weeks into their pregnancy without having to prove their mental or physical health will be impacted if they continue the pregnancy.  After 22 weeks, pregnant women seeking an abortion will need two specialist medical practitioners to sign off on the procedure.

The bill overturned a 119-year-old law that made it a criminal offense to obtain or administer an abortion in NSW.  Previously, abortions were only legal if a doctor deemed there was “serious risk” to a woman’s physical or mental health if she carried her baby to term.  “Unlawful abortion” was previously listed in the Crimes Act and carried a possible penalty of 10 years in prison for a woman who administered her own abortion.  The bill’s passage means that abortion is now decriminalized everywhere in Australia, apart from South Australia, where abortions are legal for some medical reasons.

Abortion was already decriminalized in Western Australia, Victoria, Tasmania, Queensland, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory.  On Twitter, Labor MP Penny Sharpe, co-sponsor of the bill, praised the move as a “massive step forward for women & other pregnant people” that came “not a minute too soon.”  Religious and pro-life organizations have voiced their dismay over the decision.  The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher, said it was a “dark day” for the state and called it “a defeat for humanity.”

“The Abortion Law Reform Act 2019 may be the worst law passed in New South Wales in modern times, because it represents such a dramatic abdication of responsibility to protect the most vulnerable members of our community,” he said in a statement posted on social media.  “Since the abolition of capital punishment in New South Wales in 1955, this is the only deliberate killing ever legalized in our state.”  Fisher said that although abortion is legal, the church’s “commitment to life continues.”  “Care for pregnant women, new mothers and their babies will still be available through church agencies and pro-life organizations,” he said.

“The Catholic Church, other Christian churches, people of other faiths and women and men of goodwill will continue to work together to turn our culture around, so that every vulnerable woman and baby is supported and abortion becomes unthinkable.”  Fisher thanked the members of parliament who opposed the bill, along with members of the public who prayed and spoke out against the law.  He encouraged Catholics to pray and work for pro-life leaders “so that every vulnerable woman and baby is supported and abortion is unthinkable.”  “We can still put an end to the scourge of abortion in this state by making it unnecessary, no matter what the law says,” the archbishop said.

Cherish Life Queensland Executive Director Teeshan Johnson said she grieved the passing of the bill, calling it a “gross injustice for the unborn and betrayal by the so-called conservative side of politics.”  “While the abortion lobby and its vested interests will be applauding this drastic move, the general public would be shocked if it realized what has been endorsed by a select few,” she said.  “We will be making sure everyone comes to know what those in the abortion movement have imposed upon our country over the last decade or so.  We will now start a widespread education and advertising campaign to expose this dark industry and its insidious ties.”

On Twitter, Right to Life Australia warned that the bill “unlocks floodgates to late term abortions & will increase the tide of abortions in Australia today.”  “Remember every abortion kills a baby,” the group said.  “What is happening to this nation when the most vulnerable, the most precious & the voiceless unborn are at the mercy of a vote in a Parliament?  The NSW community said a resounding no to abortion.  We will continue to fight to uphold the sanctity of human life.”  While it is unclear how many abortions are performed each year in Australia, government figures from 2005 estimated that about 80,000 women a year obtained the procedure.

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

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LEGAL SOUTH AUSTRALIAN SEX WORKERS TO OPERATE LIKE UBER

By Australian Newsletter

Prostitution would be fully decriminalised in South Australia with no explosion in the number of suburban brothels but under a “gig economy” model similar to Uber or Airbnb, and sex workers operating legally as independent contractors without any noticeable impact on the public.  That’s the promise from advocates of sex work decriminalisation in SA. An unlikely political alliance between a Greens MP and senior Liberals including Premier Steven Marshall is building parliamentary support for the change, which is opposed most strongly by Labor leader Peter Malinauskas, and state police commissioner Grant Stevens.

If passed, just Tasmania and Western Australia would be the last states where sex work remains illegal.  The sponsor of the private member’s bill, Greens MLC Tammy Franks, said she was confident it would become law as undecided MPs saw the plan would not result in the kind of “mega brothels” found in the eastern states.  Ms Franks said new technology, cheap transport and new apps to weed out unpleasant clients meant the sex worker of 2019 was usually an independent, self-employed woman who advertised online, and travelled to private residences or hotels to work.

“The critics keep talking about brothels popping up everywhere but what we are looking at here is a model more associated with the disruptive economy where these women will be able to go about their business legally and no one will be any the wiser,” she said.  Her assessment has been backed by members of the sex industry in SA in which between 2000 and 2500 people, almost all female, work each year.  But there are only an estimated 30-35 illegal brothels in SA, with around two-thirds of workers operating independently or in small groups.

They include Anya, in her 30s, who has her own web page and Twitter profile and has been organising work via text message for her three years in the industry.  Anya said the days of the big brothel were over for most women who use the internet and social media to work in private residences or hotels.  She said women were increasingly using a database called Ugly Mugs, invented in the UK but rolled out in Australia by Sydney’s Sex Workers Outreach Project, which lets sex workers share the names, aliases and phone numbers of violent or unpleasant clients, in the same way an Uber driver can reject a passenger with a poor rating.

Anya said there were two men in Adelaide with a reputation for violence who had been dobbed in by sex workers and were being avoided.  But the fact sex work remained illegal in SA was still placing women in unnecessary danger.  “The problem is that even when we are targeted or abused we feel like the criminals.  Ms Franks and Anya said they were mindful of the murder in Sydney this year of sex worker Michaela Dunn, who was not working from a brothel, but argued an incident like that could have occurred just as easily, with less likelihood of police involvement, in a state such as SA where sex work remained criminalised.

“The reality is that a lot of jobs come with danger, there are nurses and paramedics attacked every day at work,” Anya said.  Unfortunately sex workers will always be vulnerable, but they will more vulnerable if they are treated as criminals themselves and reluctant to go to the police when something bad happens.”  Ms Franks’s bill is being co-sponsored by SA Attorney-General Vickie Chapman, who this week flagged amendments to prevent brothels opening within 200m of a church, school or childcare centre. Commissioner Stevens has warned of infiltration by criminal gangs. Mr Malinauskas agrees.  “We have come too far in tackling organised crime to take a backward step”

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

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SYDNEY LOCKOUTS TO GO BUT FESTIVAL LAWS FAIL

By Australian Newsletter

The “night-time economy” in NSW is to be dramatically redrawn, with Premier Gladys Berejiklian expected to fully repeal lockout laws across most of Sydney as she faces a fresh battle over her safety crackdown on music festivals.  Lockout laws and after-hours drink restrictions would be repealed in the Sydney CBD, but left in place in inner-city Kings Cross, under the recommendations of a cross-party committee released this week.  But the Premier warned that the lives of thousands of young partygoers would be put at risk this summer after the NSW upper house overturned safety measures imposed on music festivals.

One MP said it would be up to the “licensing sergeant” in the CBD to police troublesome premises but no longer would there be blanket closing times of 3am and lockouts imposed at 1.30am.  The government regulation on music festivals, introduced after several drug-related deaths last summer, required 14 festivals to adhere to a strict licensing regime that included bearing the cost of increased security and medical services.  “I am horrified by the alliance of Labor, the Shooters and the Greens who voted together to disallow the regulation governing the music festivals by 21 votes to 18” Ms Berejiklian said.

The Premier warned that the move had put “thousands of lives at risk”.  “This action will result in an immediate end to the regulations, putting thousands of lives at risk as we come into the summer music festival season,’’ Ms Berejiklian said.  “It is utterly reckless to throw out these regulations without having anything in their place as summer approaches.  “We do not want to see a repeat of what happened last summer.

“But this irresponsible action means police, paramedics, nurses and doctors will be left to pick up the pieces.”  Labor night-time economy spokesman John Graham said the opposition moved the disallowance because the licensing system was too ad hoc on certain festivals and a proper state-wide policy needed to be developed.  Only 14 festivals determined to be “high risk” were required to obtain the licence.  Each of these 14 festivals had either had a serious drug related illness or death in the past three years, or had been assessed, on the expert advice from NSW Health and NSW police, that there might be a significant risk of that occurring.

The regulations required that the organisers establish a safety management plan in consultation with the NSW Police Force and NSW Health. A statement from Ms Berejiklian’s office said:  “The NSW government will now consider options and consult with the music industry, the health sector and NSW police on what else can be done to ensure that young people stay safe over the summer period.”   Labor has alls on the music festival industry and the government to work together to implement updated rules in time for the upcoming summer festival season,” he said.

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

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WHEN CHRISTIANS GET INVOLVED GOVERNMENT CAN BE TRANSFORMED

By Feature Articles

Article by Karen Hardin, intercessor, author, minister and literary agent. Her work has appeared in USA Today, World Net Daily, Intercessors for America, Charisma, CBN.com, The Elijah List, etc.

If you poll the majority of Americans, most of us want to simply live our lives, raise our families and serve God.  But as government has grown in dominance and control of our nation and its people, we can no longer remain in the background or remain silent.  Instead we must act.  How can we do that?  According to Jesse Leon Rodgers, “By getting Christians back into government rather than the silent posture we have taken over the years.”  Rodgers is doing that very thing through a biblical, reformational form of city governance which is based upon the model of the governing elders of the ancient cities of Israel and the function of New Testament Eldership.

Rodgers is chairman of the Oklahoma Watchmen on the Wall Network; the pastor’s network of the Family Research Council and founder and president of City Elders an organization that is introducing this biblical structure in the state of Oklahoma USA. and the transformation taking place is amazing.  So far, forty-two of seventy-seven counties in Oklahoma have embraced this new structure in which governing city leaders sit at the table to work side-by-side with Christian leaders in their city to bring strength and transformation.  City elders are shepherds, civil servants, and stewards.  They are experienced and recognized leaders from the Church, civil government, and business.

As Rodgers and his team continue working to introduce this model to every county in Oklahoma, they are already receiving requests to assist in other states as well.  Why is this important?  The truth is, we’ve been lied to that the church and its people are to remain separate from government.  It’s not in our Constitution and it’s not in the Bible.  Instead, within the pages of the Bible, we see example after example of religious leaders taking on the role to assist in the organization and development of governing the people or speaking into governmental leaders.

When the task of governing the Israelites became too burdensome, Moses called upon the Lord who said, “The Lord said to Moses: ‘Bring me seventy of Israel’s elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people.  Have them come to the tent of meeting, that they may stand there with you.  I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take some of the power of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them.  They will share the burden of the people with you so that you will not have to carry it alone.’” (Num 11:16-17)

Daniel and Joseph of biblical days both served as advisors to government leaders.  The Apostle Paul, as a religious leader of his day, referred to government laws and interacted with government leaders. (Acts 16:37, 22:25)  So, how do Christians transform our nation?  State-by-state, city-by-city, town by town.  According to Mark Nittle, transition director for Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, “We don’t need a revitalization plan.  We need an infrastructure plan.  What we currently have is not sustainable.  For example, in Oklahoma in many of our county seats, the government is the largest employer!  Our Constitution’s language is outdated and needs to be updated.  Our school system needs to be reorganized and restructured to better utilize the funds available.”

Although Nittle was referring specifically to Oklahoma, this can be said for almost every state in our nation.  As this is addressed, we will begin to see real change.  Our country is in crisis and on the verge of socialist takeover.  This is in part because the biblical example of Christian elders and leaders in government positions has been abandoned because of the misuse and deceptive interpretation of “separation of church and state,” which Jefferson used to describe the need to protect the Church and religion from the government, not the reverse.

What can we do?

  1. Pray.

Therefore, I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour (I Tim 2:1-3).  We need to recognize that we have a biblical mandate to pray for those in leadership over us.  It doesn’t say only for those you like or agree with, but for ALL who are in authority.  It also doesn’t mean you pray against them.  We are to pray for them.  Also, pray for those Christian leaders who are working behind the scenes to support our government, and help bring about transformation.

  1. Get involved.

For far too long the Church has stood on the sidelines as our governments and schools have been taken over by those who do not fear or reverence God.  We can no longer simply point at the problem, but must be willing to join in to help bring change.

  1. Give.

I was talking with a courageous woman who had recently made the decision to enter a tough political contest against a well-known and long-running Democrat in a Democrat dominated area in New York.  It is a courageous move and an up-hill-climb due to the district she is in.  As I talked with her she said, “People often tell me they are behind me and will pray for me.  And I need that! But I also need finances.  We are working to get a website up, flyers in the mail, and have to pay for television and radio ads.  It takes money and I can’t do this without help.”  We have to realize that prayer by itself is not enough.  Faith without works is dead.  We need to open our wallets and put our money where our mouth is.  If there is a God-fearing candidate willing to put their name and time on the line to help bring about transformation, the least we can do is get behind them financially to help them.

  1. Spread the Word.

A brave young woman in the city where I live courageously ran for a position on our liberal-dominated school board in the last election.  She campaigned hard.  Unfortunately, because it wasn’t a presidential campaign, most people weren’t listening.  Although she worked hard, she lost.  Later, when I posted about the loss and frustration of the lack of voter turnout, numerous Christians responded by saying they didn’t realize the election was even taking place!  This is an area in which everyone can help.  How?  We can spread the word.  Talk about upcoming elections.  Be informed.  Search out when elections in your local area are taking place.  Be there and take others with you.

Talk about candidates and why you support them to your family, friends, and those you meet.  Be willing to engage in conversations, rather than remain silent.  Some may say, it’s a personal issue, so we shouldn’t get involved.  Is it a personal issue?  Yes.  I take it personally when current political leaders try to remove God from our nation.  I take it personally when the Constitution is twisted and those in government positions try to steal the freedoms for which those who have gone before us so courageously fought.  I take it personally when our schools, city councils, and judgeships are ruled by those who are strategically working to remove parental input in the lives of our children and brainwash them to their agenda.  You should take it personally as well.  It’s time we get involved to not only pray, but to take back our nation city-by-city, town-by-town and state-by-state.

Source: Article by Karen Hardin, intercessor, author, minister and literary agent.

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SEX INDUSTRY TARGETS UNIVERSITY STUDENTS ON CAMPUS

By Australian Newsletter

University students are being aggressively targeted by the sex industry, with so many working as prostitutes that support groups have become common on campus.  Sex-worker welfare organisations routinely set up stalls at university open days.  Cameron Cox, chief executive of the government-funded Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOT), said that prostitution was seen as an acceptable option by many university students.  He said SWOT reached out to students on campus by running workshops at orientation days and doing talks at student union meetings to make sure young people had access to support networks.

“I put myself through university by doing sex work and that was more than 40 years ago. It wasn’t uncommon then, and it’s not uncommon now,” he said.  The issue has come to light following the murder of a Sydney University woman Michaela Dunn 24, who was stabbed to death by a man who had arranged to have sex with her at a unit in Sydney’s CBD.  Police sources have confirmed Ms Dunn and a girlfriend had been running a sex service, renting a fourth-floor unit in the city’s CBD, to meet customers.  Police have revealed it was the girlfriend who discovered Ms Dunn’s body, after she went to check on her at the unit because she was not answering her phone.

The revelation Ms Dunn had been living a double life, working as a “high-end” private sex worker, compounded the horror for her family and friends.  It appears Ms Dunn first registered as a sole trader on July 19, 2016, following the advice of a popular local website for freelance sex workers.   Under the heading ‘Tips and hints, private escort world”, the site also advises freelancers to keep their private lives separate.  Many workers, it says, blurred their faces on website photos because “putting themselves out there on the internet is a risk”.

Ms Dunn’s sudden cash flow in 2017 appears to have funded her extensive overseas travel including a Contiki travel tour of Europe in 2017 and trips to Fiji and Sri Lanka last year. Her final trip, four months ago, was to the celebrity-studded Coachella music festival in California.  “High-end” escorts can command anything from $700 for an hour to $5500 for an “overnight”.  Well-known inner-Sydney brothels clearly target students in their jobs ads.  A Touch of Class describes the work as “perfect for students, earn high income while you study”.  At The Golden Apple, student recruits are even offered free airfares if they live out of town.

Jules Kim, chief executive of the Scarlett Alliance, the national peak body for sex workers, said over the past few years there had been a dramatic increase in the number of sex workers freelancing on websites rather than working for brothels, where the owner takes up to half the workers’ earnings.  “It’s gone from around 20% of the industry to 50%” Ms Kim said.  The owner of a brothel in Sydney’s inner west, who asked not to be named, said she had seen an “explosion” in the number of women working privately.  “I’d say there are about 8000 girls working in Sydney privately,” she said.  “I warn my girls against it because they don’t get the protection they do in a brothel.”

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

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AUSTRALIANS DEMAND INQUIRY INTO CHILD PUBERTY BLOCKERS

By Australian Newsletter

Australian experts are calling for an urgent national inquiry into unproven hormone drugs being given to ever younger gender-confused children.  Their detailed submission, arguing that risks including infertility and lifelong regret outweigh the benefits, has been sent to Health Minister Greg Hunt and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.  According to The Australian, “2145 children were referred for gender treatment between 2014 and last year, with a 41% increase in Victoria.  Girls as young as nine are believed to be put on ‘puberty blocker’ drugs, and boys from about 11.”

Paediatrics Professor Whitehall, who backed the submission, asked,  “Who gave ethics approval for this treatment when it lacks any scientific basis and therefore is an experiment?”  “We should give the psychiatry and psychology a full run before we start castrating children.”  The experts are among a growing number of critics challenging the trend of putting children on blockers:  “virtually all those on blockers go on to cross-sex hormones (and sometimes surgery), meaning an irrevocable transition to a medical approximation of the opposite sex.  This makes them lifelong patients with a range of potential complications and a high risk of infertility.”

Health sociologist Geoff Holloway, who wrote the submission, says the role of culture in gender dysphoria is unmistakeable:  “People who object to what’s going on can lose their jobs, quite apart from being ostracised.  This is supposed to be a scientific endeavour, not a witch hunt.”  Developmental psychologist Dianna Kenny said, “It has been massively and irresponsibly over-diagnosed.  These children and teens are going to be irrevocably damaged by the treatment they received.”  Binary spokeswoman Kirralie Smith said “I am pleased that Australian experts are speaking finally speaking out on this issue and demanding standards that will protect our children.”

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

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BREAKTHROUGH ON SOUTH AUSTRALIAN PROSTITUTION

By Australian Newsletter

The South Australian (SA) Labor Leader of the Opposition has come out against the Attorney General’s prostitution decriminalisation Bill. Mr Malinauskas is to be commended for this position which displays concern for SA’s youth.  It shows wise leadership.  We must pray that the Premier will follow suit.  Mr Malinauskas has expressed concern that outlaw gangs would be given open slather by this Bill.  He is correct.  This follows a survey the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) conducted in August which showed a complete lack of support for the Bill.

The polling showed 61% of 2,214 respondents believe that their local MP should vote against the prostitution Bill while 1 in 2 said they would be less likely to vote for a member of parliament who supported the legislation.  ACL is encouraging all Christians in South Australia to continue to ask all lower house MPs to reject the Bill and instead enact Nordic legislation which decriminalises the selling of sex, criminalises the buying of sex and pimping and brothel owning, and provides real exit strategies for those in prostitution.

Source: Australian Christian Lobby

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