Vice-President Mike Pence has urged Americans to keep supporting churches.

His comments come as churches across the world are closing their doors in response to the coronavirus crisis.

“Making the hard choice to suspend services, to have online services, even while those ministries are continuing to support food banks and come alongside of the most vulnerable,” he said.

“And of course the chorus of prayers that is coming up from communities of faith around the country is making the difference that it always has in the life of this nation.” 

Pence said that “on the weekends that you’re not in the pews, it’s still a good idea, if you can, to go ahead and make that donation”.

“All the ministries are continuing to play a vital role in our communities and we encourage your continued support.”

Churches are coming up with novel ways to deal with limitations during the coronavirus outbreak, including streaming services online and offering drive through confession.

abortion tools

By Dr Toni Turnbull

Members of State Parliament will soon consider various recommendations made last year by the South Australian Law Reform Institute which include the appalling proposal to allow abortion throughout the entirety of pregnancy.

That shocking possibility will become a reality if State MPs remove gestational restrictions on abortion.

In three decades as a general practitioner, I have never seen or heard of any medical problem that could possibly justify the removal of gestational limits on abortion. That recommendation seems driven by ideology, not evidence.

I wonder if the legal minds at the Law Reform Institute are aware that each foetus is essentially fully complex by about 10-12 weeks, with such evident features as a beating heart and unique fingerprints. All systems essentially are in place. The little one gains no further complexity – only growth – and will become viable outside the womb by about 22 weeks.

Yet the proposal is to allow abortion up to 40 weeks! That recommendation, properly understood, must surely provoke moral outrage in the community.

Legal minds are perhaps also unaware that the risk of death to a woman from complications following abortion increases massively with every week from two months’ gestation and the likelihood of fatal complications from abortion after foetal viability is higher than if she had proceeded to delivery.

While I’m unsure if any of my patients would ever seek termination in the advanced stages of pregnancy, of this I am certain: such drastic action could not possibly enable anyone to better cope with whatever crisis may have provoked that response.

In my experience, healthcare and other professionals who support women patients are often told by them that abortion was the worst possible decision and is a matter of deep suffering and sorrow.

Doctors who are committed equally to the patient and her developing baby must offer the mother facing unplanned pregnancy with compassionate encouragement to brave whatever circumstances underlie the request for abortion, and to refer the patient to support services that will nurture mother and baby.

In the case of late-term discovery of foetal damage, we should do everything in our power to pull mother and baby through. But when healthcare fails, it remains much wiser when each patient allows nature to take its course, instead of seeking the destruction of her little one.

It is always better to provide tender loving care and the delivery even of a damaged, dying or dead baby – who may be held, named and loved. Palliative care for a sick or dying pre-born baby is better for everyone concerned and involves no regret.

But the immense physical and psychological problems including grief and loss reactions following termination (especially in the advanced stages of pregnancy) should caution MPs against legislating to achieve the Law Reform Institute’s disturbing recommendation.

MPs have much to ponder in preparation for debating the abortion question at some point this year.

praying covid19

If ever there has been a time in recent history for faith to be in the public square, it's now.
We have been through crippling drought, devastating fires and now a global pandemic. 

Many who read this will agree that it is time to practically and prayerfully uphold the value of humbly acknowledging our reliance upon God, as the preface to our Federal Constitution states.
Let us be praying and doing good in our own families and communities, and add to the groundswell of care and hope across the country.

Regardless of whether our PM Scott Morrison holds a National Day of Prayer, we can all be praying daily, using points like these.



President Trump held a National Day of Prayer on Sunday in response to the coronavirus.

In calling the day, the US President tweeted that:

“We are a Country that, throughout our history, has looked to God for protection and strength in times like these.

“No matter where you may be, I encourage you to turn towards prayer in an act of faith. Together, we will easily PREVAIL!”.

Franklin Graham thanked President Trump.

“I am grateful that President Donald J. Trump has designated today as a National Day of Prayer,” Graham wrote on Facebook.

“With so much uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 at home and around the world, people are afraid. Now is the time for Christians to be strong and courageous, knowing that Almighty God is with us.”

FamilyVoice is asking Prime Minister Scott Morrison to do likewise.

“As the nation seeks to manage this serious pandemic, and so many people are anxious, we encourage the Prime Minister to set a day for national prayer,” said FamilyVoice National Director Charles Newington.

“We ask for his leadership not only to secure public safety but to help calm a very anxious community, by encouraging the nation to pray.

“A dedicated day of prayer would help the nation ask God for help and restore calmness and good neighbourliness in our communities.”

trans sign

A ban on transgender students participating in women’s sports has passed the Arizona House of Representatives.

The measure was supported 31-29 and will now head to the state Senate.

Representative Nancy Barto, a Republican sponsor of the legislation, said males should participate with males and compete against males while females should compete against females.

“Recent research actually verifies that even with cross-sex hormones, men have an unequivocal advantage. They've got stronger bones, they've got greater lung capacity,” she said.

If passed by the Senate, females at public and private schools would be protected by the measure, as well as those in community colleges and universities.

Teams or sports designated as “female” would not be open to biological males.