Theologically Sound. Culturally Relevant.

Michael Bird

Debunking Michael Bird’s Pro-Abortion Evangelicalism

Michael Bird is perhaps the closest thing Australia has to a Russell Moore. With international influence and some mainstream clout, Bird is a major Big Eva figure in the academic circles of Australia. Nearly two months after Roe v Wade was officially overturned in the Dobbs Decision, Michael Bird chimed in with his nuanced take on the decision, showing a clear lack of understanding of American history and politics, as well as a very pro-abortion position for an Evangelical.

To be upfront, I am pro-life. By which I mean I believe in protecting the voiceless and vulnerable from death, deprivation, and oppression. That includes an aging grandmother in a Dutch nursing home, a gay teenager in an Iranian prison, a prisoner on death row in China, a Syrian refugee in a concentration camp on Manus Island, and yes, a baby in its mother’s womb. That is my default setting. It was also the early church’s default setting as the early church was unanimously opposed to both abortion and infanticide (see Michael Gorman’s excellent book Abortion and the Early Church).

Right off the bat, Michael Bird redefines pro-life broadening the scope beyond its definition in order to employ the no true Scotsman fallacy against the actual pro-lifers. In doing so, he draws a moral equivalency between slaughter unborn babies to criminalizing homosexuality, death penalty, and mass migration. Interestingly enough, none of his false equivalencies were relevant to American politics, nor current Australian events.

In addition, as I’ve argued before, when it comes to abortion we are dealing with two goods set in opposition to each other: women’s bodily autonomy and preserving innocent life. As such, the abortion debate is a conflict between two good things, a defence of the voiceless and vulnerable including infants in utero or post-birth, and the right of women rather than men to decide what happens to women’s bodies. The question is, how do we balance these mutual goods?

Bird believes that autonomy and life are two goods being balanced with abortion policy as opposed to a clear hierarchy in which life takes priority. His charitable views of the pro-abortion movement are not matched when examining the pro-life movement.

Also, I am fully aware that there are legitimate reasons for some abortions, things like ectopic pregnancies, incest, rape, and more. While there is a lot of false information on this subject, I’m told that all US states that ban abortions do have provisions for cases like these, although it varies from state to state.

Michael Bird spreads the myth that ectopic pregnancies and abortions are a related issue. The pro-life movement has never considered treating an ectopic pregnancy as an abortions. Additionally, his justification for incest and rape exceptions affirm eugenics and a consent based morality system respectively. Neither of these are compatible with a Christian worldview.

I didn’t necessarily agree with the slogan, “Safe, legal, and rare,” but I respected it. It recognized that abortion was not ideal, but for many women, it was the least worst option. However, the current mantra “Abortion on demand, for any reason, at any time in pregnancy, without apology” has always struck me as a gruesome celebration of something macabre. As if terminating an eight-month viable pregnancy because the baby is female, is something feminists and progressives want to champion.

Third, I hasten to point out that most European nations have more restrictions on abortions than some American states. Most European states, with a few exceptions, are allergic to abortion after 24 weeks of pregnancy. However, in many US states, abortion can go right up to the moment of birth.

In trying to take a jab at the United States, Michael Bird would rather compare America to European nations to show how much more pro-life their laws are, when American states individually are comparable to European nation. America has a spectrum that now includes states where abortion is illegal. Europe does not have this, nor does Australia.

Fourth, Roe vs. Wade was symbolic of who is in control of America. White religious conservatives or White political progressives! Roe vs. Wade was a symbol of cultural influence, power, hegemony, and ascendency. Roe vs. Wade was the “flag” in a political game of “capture the flag.” The religious right wants the ascendency, but so does the progressive left. Call me cynical, but the progressive left is not truly pro-woman anymore than the religious right is truly pro-life!

Bird trivializes the pro-life movement to a flag in capture the flag, but such a game has far more changes of possession. This is rather a long march through the institutions, or the Romans building a siege ramp to capture Masada. The Mexico City policy is a capture the flag. Overturning Roe v Wade was playing for keeps.

To the progressives, if they are so pro-woman, then why do they freeze with paralysis with it comes to defining a woman? Why do they refuse to reject sex-based abortions of babies for being female? Why do they refuse to speak up for the 28% of women who are coerced, often with threats of violence, into having an abortion by a partner? Why do they denigrate pro-life women, many of whom are women of color? The progressive left is only selectively pro-women.

In wagging his finger at the liberals, Michael Bird suggests that the pro-abortion movement has many inconsistencies with what it means to be pro-women. However, a woman terminating a pregnancy based on sex is the fruit of feminism. Bird lacks the Marxist distinction between “bodies” and “voices” which is why token appeal to authority fallacies don’t work on the left.

To the conservatives, the overturning of Roe vs. Wade was the fulfilment of the prayers, hopes, and dreams of the religious right. However, I think that subsequent actions will prove that the American pro-life movement was not always, perhaps not ever, a truly pro-life movement. With the overturning of Roe vs. Wade, will the pro-life movement now proceed to protest and petition for free healthcare for pregnant women, paid maternity leave, safe housing, and subsidized childcare for families? I know some pro-lifers will embrace that, but the vast, vast majority will not. For many on the religious right, over-turning Roe vs. Wade was merely the symbol of their ascendency, saving babies was just a bonus.

Towards the Christians, he is much more stern, urging them to support government programs. For starters, pregnant Medicaid already exists. Government housing is crime riddled, so putting pregnant women in “free” housing is a terrible idea. Public schools are subsidized childcare, and paid maternity leave is already mandated in certain states or industries.

As a member of the religious right, I recognize the win, but our side has too much work left to do in finishing the job of outlawing abortions.

Michael Bird offers dreadful commentary on abortion, in an attempt to be liked on both sides, ultimately having the respect of the people in the middle who hold no convictions on the issue.

Support the Evangelical Dark Web

It's not about the money. It's about supporting the mission in contending for the faith against false doctrines. Consider becoming a member of the Evangelical Dark Web. If you aren't willing, comfortable, or able to, that's cool. And if you still like our content, at least subscribe to the newsletter below.
Receive the Evangelical Dark Web Newsletter


One Response

  1. That was written for those on left for the most part. All mainstream articles on abortion from the pro-life side have these major appeasements to the pro-abortionists. Highly critical or our side and always with these Marxist ideas that the pro-life movement must support socialism! We can argue that socialism is NOT pro-life and is a detriment to life. Good grief man! We cannot try to appease the world. The world should hate us and we should embrace that.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: