“When it comes to women’s rights with respect to their reproduction, I think you should leave it to women.”
That’s what Bill Nye has to say in his latest educational video, “Can We Stop Telling Women What to Do With Their Bodies?” In the video, which you can and absolutely should watch above, Nye explains how the idea of “life at conception” simply doesn’t make sense — because many more eggs are fertilized than become humans, due to factors like failure to attach to a woman’s uterine wall.
“If you’re going to say when an egg is fertilized it therefore has the same rights as an individual, then whom are you going to sue?” he says. “Whom are you going to imprison? Every woman who’s had a fertilized egg pass through her? Every guy whose sperm has fertilized an egg and then it didn’t become a human? Have all these people failed you?”
Nye goes on to explain that popular understandings of conception are deeply flawed, and don’t line up with scientific facts, noting that there actually is no “moment” when life begins. Scientifically, there is also a critical distinction between an actual life and a potential or possible life, he says, but this is typically ignored by anti-abortion activists.
Nye encourages viewers to think about the evidence that’s available, pointing out that decades of research show that restricting access to reproductive health services, including abortion, is associated with higher rates of maternal and infant morbidity and mortality.
“At some point we have to respect the facts,” he says. “Closing abortion clinics… and not giving women access to birth control has not been an effective way to lead to healthier societies… I think we all know that.”
Nye ends the video with a plea for anti-abortion activists to educate themselves, and stop telling women what to do:
“Just really be objective about this….We have other problems to solve. Let’s work together.”