Bill Nye The Science Guy On Women’s Repro Rights & Why It’s Time To Move On!


We know this is a video that has been well shared around the internet over the past week, and we have no problem being part of a movement that is sharing logical, fact-based information about women’s reproductive rights. Rather than listen to all the incorrect drivel in biased media outlets and from all those “gynoticians” (politicians who think they are gynecologists), it’s good to hear a scientist set the record straight, not just about the issue of birth and abortion, but also that it is no one else’s business what a woman chooses to do with her body and her life.

Bill created this video as part of his series ‘Think Big’ which made history as the highest funded Kickstarter documentary! The campaign raised over $757,000 FYI, and clearly a lot of people want to hear what he has to say on a range of different topics. We love that he brought up the issue of abortion and women’s health!

Aside from the scientific knowledge he shares which you can watch in the video below, he sums it up in the way most of us think: that there are more important things to focus on politically, socially and economically.

“At some point we have to respect the facts. 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. Just really be objective about this. We have other problems to solve everybody… Let’s work together,” he concluded.

And while everyone was praising his video as a win for this fight, it is simply one thread in the fabric that seeks to strengthen women in a battle that should not be happening today in the United States. In 1973, the Supreme Court ruled that abortion was legal in all 50 states, enabling clinics and medical professionals to offer safe, legal and regulated operations.

We all know the issue of abortion angers many people, especially the pro-life advocates. So in continuum of Bill Nye’s awesome video and in lieu of the raging efforts to defund Planned Parenthood in light of a string of controversial and falsified undercover videos which allege the company is selling baby parts for profit (all states which have conducted investigations into Planned Parenthood facilities have found no wrong doing, FYI) we thought this was  good opportunity to share vital information, not to damn anyone for their beliefs or ideology, but because knowledge is the the best weapon we can arm ourselves with.

(Just a quick note, while we would love to cover all the ways women’s reproductive rights are being oppressed in many countries around the world, this article will only focus on the United States for now.)

We feel we cannot talk about the issue of abortion without including sex. It is at the very root of the issue in the first place, and we feel there is a huge lack of foundational and realistic knowledge shared amongst the younger generation which leads to very problematic and often skewed ideas of reproductive rights as they grow older.

The states that spend the majority of funding on abstinence only programs, rather than programs which teach a comprehensive program about healthy and normal sexuality, are also the states which have the highest rates of teen pregnancies. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. You can shut down any access to birth control, or material that explains, in some cases, explicit sexual subjects, but there is no way you can stop a child from exploring their own sexuality and having sex if they want to. While we respect the decision of some parents and schools to want to teach abstinence messages, if that is the ONLY message they are teaching, as opposed to coupling it with knowledge about contraception and reproduction, then it is a losing battle from the start.


Another great argument in favor of birth control is what happened in Colorado. Over the span of 6 years the state conducted experiments with long-acting birth control (IUDs) and offered them for free to teen girls and poor women. Guess what the result was? The teen pregnancy rate plummeted by 40% from 2009 to 2013, and the rate of abortions fell by 42%. Now those are statistics worth shouting about! Sadly the state is no longer continuing this experiment because they couldn’t get additional funding. What a shame.

Many people talk about the high rate of abortion and some even foolishly think making it illegal or at best defunding Planned Parenthood will stop women from having abortions altogether. That could not be more further from the truth. Let’s look at a few figures that have been collected regarding abortion since the Roe v Wade decision in 1973.

According to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of abortions in America is at its lowest point since 1973. The agency recorded 730,322 abortions in 2011, which represents a 5% drop since 2010. It should also be pointed out that the majority of women getting abortions today in the United States are married women who already have children.

If you believed everything you saw in the media, we wouldn’t blame you for feeling as if you are not getting the full picture. It is so overwhelming and sad that emotional and religious arguments cloud this discussion which is in no way a black and white issue. It is not smart or useful to declare all pro-choice people as “murderers” and claim pro-life people are the only advocates of life.

In fact there was a very popular quote from Sister Joan Chittister, a Nun and author who laid out a very challenging point about the so-called “pro life” argument which we think was a really great wake up call:


In light of this, a recent blog post by Christian blogger and author Ashley Gorman caught out attention, and while she specifically was addressing her Christian readers and is firmly against abortion, she issued a similar, more in-depth challenge that if anyone claims to be pro-life, then they better be willing to open their homes, adopt children and not just be in favor of a woman giving birth to a baby as opposed to abortion.

“If the action is abortion, the reaction or consequence is the loss of 1,050,000 human lives per year in the U.S. (This is the total amount of abortions in the U.S. annually. Planned Parenthood’s contribution is 327,000 abortions last year.) If the action is birth instead of abortion, the reaction or consequence is the gain of 1,050,000 human lives per year. If you are holding up a pro-life sign, then you’d better be ready for 1.05 million new babies in our country on a yearly basis, and you’d better have a better plan than just ‘have the baby and see you later’. If we are brazen enough to demand abortion be ended, then we must be willing to take on those new lives with care and compassion,” she writes in a compelling blog post we feel is worth the read, even if you are pro choice.

Sometimes we are genuinely surprised to hear voices of reason like that of Ashley’s in the pro-life debate because it is not often that they actually offer viable solutions other than “don’t have an abortion!”.

Another reason not to believe media hype, which can be hard to do given that we do have a presidential election coming up and some candidates will do anything and everything to get attention, is because the actual statistics can tell a very different story. In a sense this whole Planned Parenthood undercover video controversy has been very good for the pro-choice, pro-women’s reproductive health argument as it has forced us to stand up and use our voices. We have no room to be complacent in this fight! There are bills being proposed and voted on every day in congress and the senate and if we don’t challenge our elected leaders to best represent what the majority of us want, then we are headed for disaster.


So what DO the majority of us want? According to a recent Gallup poll, the majority of Americans are today in favor of abortion rights. More than 50% believe it is a woman’s right to choose, and it is only hers and her doctors business, and abortion should not be made illegal.

If facts are not compelling enough for you, then perhaps personal stories are. Just recently a hashtag on social media #shoutyourabortion went viral because women banded together in support of women who have had abortions, in the hope that this muddied pseudo medical-political-religious debate would finally have a human face attached to it and reiterate that not every woman chooses abortion for the same reason. No one actually LIKES abortion, like Bill Nye said in his video above. It is a deeply personal, and often difficult decision to make, and when you add shame into the mix it is never a recipe for success.

Personal stories are obviously a great way to help people keep an open mind as Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan from Ohio can attest to. He wrote a very beautiful article back in January about why he changed his mind on abortion from being pro-life to pro-choice.

“As my friend and colleague U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro says, ‘Nobody celebrates abortion’. No woman makes this decision lightly. Each and every American deserves the right to deal with these difficult situations in consultation with their families, close friends or religious advisers. No federal or state law banning abortion can honestly and fairly take into account the various circumstances that make each decision unique,” he wrote.


“Where government does have the ability to play a significant role is in giving women and families the tools they need to prevent unintended pregnancies by expanding education and access to contraception. We must get past the ignorance, fear and — yes — discrimination against women that lead to restrictions on contraception and age-appropriate sex education.”

He concluded by saying we must trust women and families, not politicians to make the best decision for their lives.

But let’s not be ignorant of the toll abortion can take on women later in their lives. Statistics show there is a high risk of depression, PTSD and even in some cases suicide, which further outlines this is such a complex issue that deserves education, care and support, not damning and shame.

Like Tim Ryan and many pro-choice advocates have stated, ideally NO woman wants to get to the stage where abortion is something they have to decide upon, and this is largely prevented by healthy and comprehensive sexual education and resources which include the use of birth control. While some pro-life arguments are quick to point out that they believe all abortions are murder, they are much slower to coming up with a solution, which is why we liked Christian writer Ashley Gorman’s article above as she challenged those who share her faith to think beyond popular rhetoric. We also think it would’ve been helpful for her to issue the call to lay a better foundation sexually, as that is a crucial aspect of reproduction.

In 2009, when she was Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton gave a rousing speech before the Senate about the need for better access to reproductive healthcare, and especially birth control. She even mentioned that in an ideal world, everyone wants to prevent abortion, but the difference between certain arguments and those like hers, is that she has some actual tangible solutions.

So where do we end on this issue? The question is not about ending, it is about where we start, and we believe that is with an unbiased view of sexuality that offers a safe space for kids and teens to have shame-free conversations with parents, teachers, community leaders, families and even religious leaders for those who part of certain organizations.

While some states don’t even offer the younger generation access to important and life-saving information, this is why it is important we do not defund Planned Parenthood. We are also huge fans of an organization called More Than Sex Ed, which offer a really awesome curriculum to churches and schools discussing all the complex issues surrounding sexuality and offer it in an environment that doesn’t shame them for asking questions or being curious.

This is the kind of world we want to live in, where young girls and boys understand what healthy, consensual sex is, and ideally they won’t ever have to get to the stage where they are considering an abortion because they can make smart, informed decisions about family planning and have access to birth control.

In the meantime we must try to find more common ground on this issue with those who oppose abortion (who in theory should be all for contraception, right!?) and continue to use our voices, just like Bill Nye the science guy, to remind those in our spheres of influence that this is not an issue that should be debated on in congress, the senate or any court. It should only take place in our homes and in our families.


One Comment

  1. Pingback: The Fight For Repro Rights Just Went Up A Notch With The New Supreme Court Case

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.