Bill Nye, who rose to fame as a science educator with his eponymous show for kids in the '90s, has picked a new topic to speak out on in a new video from Big Think: Abortion.
Nye's career has found a second wave in recent years as he's taken a stand on issues like climate change and the teaching of evolution in schools. Ever The Science Guy, Nye seems to relish stepping into hot debates and dropping matter-of-fact scientific information.
"We have so many more important things to be dealing with, we have so many other problems," Nye says in the video. "To squander resources on this argument based on bad science, on just lack of understanding, is very frustrating."
The scientific facts Nye points out are nothing new: He focuses on the fact that eggs are fertilized quite frequently, and that it's illogical to protect a fertilized egg over the interests of a woman. This is absolutely true. Scientists estimate that at least 50 percent of fertilized eggs fail to develop. From there, 10 to 20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage, with some researchers estimating that around 40 percent of all pregnancies do so -- because many end before the woman realizes she's pregnant.
"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 also points out something studies have shown for quite some time: Abstinence-only sex education doesn't work.
It's unlikely that Nye's video will convince anyone who wasn't already pro-choice. The facts he presents are already out there. And historically, those who oppose the views that Nye is pushing (read: climate change deniers) have had no trouble calling him a liberal shill, or pointing out that as an engineer, he isn't an "expert" on these particular topics.
Nye probably realizes this. But since his new mission seems to be to inject scientific literacy into matters of policy, I think we can expect a lot more videos like this one in the future.