I ran into this pro-abortion video by Bill Nye and found it deeply troubling. Not only did he make a poor argument, but he used poor science too.
The clip begins with the caption, “Fertilized eggs are not human,” and he poses the question, if we hold to this standard, that a fertilized egg has the same rights as an individual, “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 whose sperm has fertilized an egg and then it didn’t become a human? Have all these people failed you?” He goes on to claim that, “It’s just a reflection of a deep scientific lack of understanding. You literally don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Wow. How does one reason with that type of rationale? It’s as if he thinks his personal opinion and inability to understand his opponent’s position has the same weight as science.
Let’s begin with a definition of human. A human can be defined as, “having human form or attributes”, or “A member of the genus Homo, especially a member of the species Homo sapiens.”
Granted, a fertilized egg doesn’t have a human form, but it certainly has human attributes stored in its DNA. And if we ask, what genus or species is that fertilized egg from, we’d have to admit it’s from the genus Homo sapiens, which is human. So, Bill Nye’s attempt to deny humanity to a fertilized egg is unscientific on its face. An egg and sperm fertilized by humans is, indeed, human.
But let’s address his claim that we shouldn’t consider a fertilized egg human because we wouldn’t know whom to prosecute if it isn’t born. First, his claim is ridiculous. Not knowing whom to criminally prosecute isn’t an argument that a fertilized egg isn’t human. That’s just a special appeal to ignorance. No one is claiming that a person is guilty of a crime when a fertilized egg isn’t carried to full term. Nye is getting all worked up because he’s bought into the fearmongering instilled in him by the pro-choice community. No one is pursuing this type of criminalization, so it’s strange that Nye would base his argument on such an extreme idea.
He then appeals to science, arguing that we wouldn’t know how big a human egg was if not for microscopes and scientists looking diligently. Ok. So what? Does he think humanity depends on size? Just because a fertilized egg is at the beginning of its life and is too tiny to see doesn’t mean it’s not human.
The video gets interesting when Nye becomes visibly agitated, claiming he finds it troubling when pro-life people claim to “know the next step” when he thinks it’s obvious that they don’t. Huh? What next step is he talking about? This is just incoherent rambling.
The video camera shuts off until he composes himself, and when he returns, he makes an appeal to morality, suggesting that “Nobody likes abortion.” But notice his shift from denying that a fertilized egg is human… to abortion, which is performed on a fetus (not a fertilized egg). Nice bait-and-switch tactic.
Well, believe it or not, there are some people who apparently do like abortion, and I could point to various people involved in the abortion industry who have shown no remorse and don’t find it troubling to take a human life at this stage. There probably aren’t many people who would publicly admit they like abortion, but there are plenty of examples where people champion and celebrate the cause. The latest Women’s March in Washington, for example, encourages women to be proud of their abortions. Therefore, I’m not inclined to accept his demands just because he doesn’t like a procedure that is intended to end a human life well beyond the fertilized egg stage. And more to the point, if he doesn’t believe a fertilized egg is human, then why, exactly, does he find abortion troubling?
Then he rebukes anyone not on his side, declaring that, “you can’t tell somebody what to do.” Oh, really? Our legal system is filled with laws telling people what they can and cannot do. In most states, we’re told to wear seatbelts in cars. We tell people they can’t drink and drive. We tell people they can’t do drugs. Some states tell people how much soda they’re allowed to consume. We tell people they aren’t permitted to drive until they’re a certain age. We make them buy health care, and we force them to buy car insurance if they drive a car. We force people to bake wedding cakes. So, I find it absurd that Nye lectures us that, when it comes to ending the life of an unborn baby, that’s the only area we can’t tell somebody what to do.
Of course, what I really think he’s trying to say is that he hates laws prohibiting women from aborting their own babies, but that’s assuming the baby’s life isn’t worth protecting, and that’s exactly why he’s trying to argue that a fertilized egg isn’t human. He doesn’t want to face the fact that an abortion kills a human life, so he must redefine humanity to protect himself from his own conscious.
Nye goes on to say we have to face the facts. I agree. But I don’t think the facts are kind to him. He claims that recommending or insisting on abstinence has been completely ineffective, yet statistics show that abstinence is effective in reducing sexual activity among participants.
Nye claims that closing abortion clinics and not giving women access to birth control hasn’t been an effective way to lead to healthier societies, but this is not true. Many women face serious depression and other psychological and health problems after an abortion, so it’s the availability of abortion clinics that is preventing a healthier society. Abortion clinics exist to end a life rather than assure a healthy mother and child. Planned Parenthood, for example, isn’t needed for women’s health as they don’t offer mammograms and other important medical services; in fact, they’ve cut cancer screening and prevention services by more than 50% since 2004.
Then Nye insults pro-lifers, conceding they have deeply held beliefs, but only because of their incorrect perception of unborn people. He pleads for us to look at the facts, but the problem is he wants us to accept his biased opinion, not facts.
He insists we don’t tell women what to do, and to stop pursuing laws that really are in nobody’s best interest. Of course, he doesn’t realize how he’s telling women what to do, while pursuing laws that aren’t in anyone’s best interest, so it’s hypocritical for him to lecture others. He’s being anything but objective, inserting his own prejudices and biases into politics and is very insincere. He even pleads for us to work together, but I really doubt he means it; he has his mind made up and isn’t interested in facts, or any evidence or statistics that contradict him.
Lastly, he argues that his mother was a woman, and that they’re everywhere, as if that’s somehow supposed to convince us that he likes women and wants what’s best for them. Sorry, but I found his diatribe to be insulting, belittling, snide, arrogant and baseless. If he has any serious interest in working together, then he needs to get the facts right and understand what being pro-life really means rather than creating a false caricature.
Being pro-life is about protecting an innocent human life, and caring for the well-being of the mother and child.