Abortion has been a very controversial topic for decades now. The Supreme Court decision in the Roe v. Wade case effectively made abortion legal across the United States. That did not stop opponents of the medical procedure from continuing to fight against the decision. You can now frequently see people protesting outside of clinics where abortions are performed. Anti-abortion activists have burned down clinics, stalked doctors and murdered people who performed the procedure. Largely Republican politicians regularly attempt to enact workaround laws that would effectively make it impossible for abortion providers to operate in a state or for women to get a safe and legal abortion. Some of those underhanded efforts managed to work in certain states.
People object to abortion for many different reasons. Some have strong religious beliefs that supposedly state abortion is not permitted. The problem is that the Christian Bible shows God killing fetuses. There is even a recipe for an abortion cocktail sanctioned by God in the Bible that women can take to terminate a pregnancy. Additionally, many people who use religion to fuel anti-abortion rhetoric because all life is sacred support the death penalty even though it is applied unevenly and sometimes unfairly. The issue is that these people are attempting to impose their belief system on everyone else.
A chant that is commonly heard from anti-abortion activists is that life begins at conception. This implies that the moment an egg is fertilize it is actually a human being. This has led Republican politicians, anti-choice activists and religious groups to lobby for draconian bills that would have terrible consequences. Those bills include forcing women to have transvaginal ultrasounds before receiving an abortion, forcing women to wait for a long time before receiving the procedure and even forcing women to pay for funerals if a miscarriage occurs.
Popular and respected scientist Bill Nye decided to weigh in on the subject. He posted a video online where he took anti-abortion activists to task over pseudo-scientific rhetoric and blatant ignorance. Nye first pointed out that the vast majority of fertilized eggs do not grow into human beings. People do not always produce a baby when having intercourse. Nye posed the question as to who should be imprisoned or punished for all those fertilized eggs that simply pass out of the uterus and never become a person. This is in response to some proposed legislation that would punish women for having miscarriages.
Bill Nye went on to talk about how most of the legislation dealing with restricting abortions that has passed was done so by men. He also said that those men are basing their decisions on a 5,000-year-old book instead of science. He is implying that those legislators are following religious beliefs to make secular laws in a country where there is a clear separation of church and state. He called the information the legislators used bad science. Nye went a step further saying that “It’s a reflection of a deep scientific lack of understanding.” Nye concluded by chastising the legislators and other anti-abortion activists by stating “You literally don’t know what you’re talking about.”
The debate over abortion is not likely to end. A large number of people have strong religious beliefs against the procedure. While that is fine, those individuals should not attempt to infringe on the rights of women to make choices about their own bodies. Abortion is currently a safe and legal medical procedure in the United States despite the false propaganda produced by anti-choice activists. The response to Bill Nye’s video has been largely positive especially when faced with politicians who would go even further and ban basic contraceptives.