Leave it to Bill Nye the Science Guy to tread where most are reluctant to go. Abortion has been a dodgy subject for many, and while we are now in the 21st century and many may argue that we should approach the matter with a more enlightened view than we have previously, the fact of the matter is, many are still wary about even discussing abortion. Bill Nye, however, openly confronted the debate via Big Think, saying that our focus needs to be on the world issues, not telling women what to do with their bodies.
“At some point we have to respect the facts. Recommending or insisting on abstinence has been completely ineffective,” he said.
Abortion has been a hot-button topic for decades, so it should come as no surprise that Nye would tackle the issue. The topic, as usual, garnered much discussion on Twitter.
Abortion should be about choice. Not compulsory – so if you don't want one, don't have one but allow others to chose so if they wish #qanda
— Stephen Koukoulas (@TheKouk) September 28, 2015
— WGNRR (@WGNRR) September 28, 2015
Bill Nye said legislators are effectively passing laws based on their interpretation — which he said is erroneous — of a book that was written “50 centuries ago,” according to Complex. Nye makes the argument that there are many abortions that happen quite naturally because of an embryo’s failure to implant in the womb, and that abortion technically becomes a question of legality for everyone.
“Then whom are you going to sue? Whom are you going to imprison? Every woman who’s had a fertilized egg pass through her? Every guy who’s sperm has fertilized an egg and then it didn’t become a human? Have all these people failed you?” he wonders, according to Life News.
Nye also says that, when it comes to the abortion issue, people should recognize that in some situations, women will get pregnant in situations of rape or sexual abuse. In those situations, Nye says, women should have the right to determine what, exactly, should be done about the embryo — particularly if the father of the unborn child is an assailant of the mother.
“Nobody likes abortion, OK,” he says, according to Cosmopolitan. “But you can’t tell somebody what to do. I mean she has rights over this, especially if she doesn’t like the guy that got her pregnant. She doesn’t want anything to do with your genes, get over it, especially if she were raped and all this.”
Some might argue that in taking on the abortion issue, Bill Nye is going well beyond the elementary school age set, or his chief audience when Bill Nye the Science Guy was still on the air. However, many of the elementary school set when his show was in its heyday are now of childbearing years themselves, and to say that Nye would have garnered significant attention with his now-viral video is an understatement. The video has been viewed over 466,000 times to date.
As the host of three current television series — The 100 Greatest Discoveries, The Eyes of Nye, and Stuff Happens — Nye is definitely one of popular science’s most potent voices. He was engaged in a debate with Ken Ham in early February, 2014, called “Is Creation A Viable Model of Origins?” Tickets to the event sold out in minutes, and each side was declared the winner by various pundits across the United States and beyond.
Nye’s video about abortion, though, is likely one of his more contentious undertakings to date. While women across the world might celebrate his push to allow women to determine whether or not they have the right to have an abortion rather than allowing legislators to do so, there are those who might think that Nye’s philosophies are somewhat flawed. Regardless, Nye should be applauded for his efforts in saying that women truly should have the right to choose whether or not to have an abortion.
[Photo by Theo Wargo / Getty Images for Global Citizen]