Chinese American Woman, Christian, and Pro-Choice: My Take on the Overturn of Roe V. Wade — Abby Stoa

On June 24th, 2022 the Supreme Court shockingly overturned Roe V. Wade, a legal case that had been around for almost 50 years. This overturn not only immediately took away a significant right from women, negatively affecting thousands of women seeking abortion during that time, but also (deservingly so) gave the Christian community even more of a negative reputation in our American Society.

One of the most prominent figures of this Pro-Life movement is Abby Johnson. For those unfamiliar, Abby Johnson is a Christian Pro-Life activist who actually started out as a powerful Pro-Choice activist who was a Director of Planned Parenthood in Bryan, TX. She herself did not love the idea of abortion, but believed that it was the right for a woman to choose and society’s responsibility to provide safe avenues for women to do so. Her perspective changed after needing to sit in on an abortion. After seeing one first hand she became completely uncomfortable with the idea and almost immediately switched to the Pro-Life side of the spectrum. She then began picketing with others outside the exact place she was the director and sharing her story with Christians, politicians, and lawmakers to get Roe V. Wade overturned. It is Christians like her that we have to “thank” for this overturn. I believe the cause for the overturn of Roe V. Wade came from Christians who have been working for years to get this legal case overturned. In the right- leaning and Christian Community, the Supreme Court Case of Roe V. Wade was something that Christians were always working for to get overturned.

While a few lives may be “saved” by the decision to overturn, the negative effects far outweigh the positive ones. This overturn only decreases safety and control for women, especially Women of Color. As many states have trigger laws, which are states that change their laws based on Supreme Court decisions, this only puts Women of Color in a more unsafe position. Many of them are unable to travel to another state let alone have the resources or finances to get a safe abortion like some other weathly women and families might be able to. Though the saying might be trite, it is nothing short of true: banning abortions will not stop abortions, only safe ones. Banning abortions will greatly increase mortality rates for women as they will be put in unsanitary and unsafe conditions when trying to do an abortion. This is why the negatives far outweigh the positive outcomes that some Christians are persistently pushing in our society.

I believe one of the main blindspots of the Christian Community is the lack of understanding when it comes to religious freedom. I think some Christians forget about the right for religious freedom in our society. Many right-leaning Christians seem to believe that since they themselves would never get an abortion it means that they should push that same perspective and agenda, Christian or not. Doing this is the exact opposite of religious freedom. I’m not sure why some Christians think it is justified to push their own religion on others. This is definitely something we as a Christian community need to work on.

I do not believe getting an abortion should be anyone’s business but the person who is getting it. Seeing posts about the overturn of Roe V. Wade on social media and in media that speak for the whole Christian community is disheartening. While it may seem like all Christians are for this, I hope people realize that that’s not true. There are Christians such as myself that don’t believe that the overturn is justified and support those who decide that getting an abortion is the best choice for them. I hope the Christian community can work to do better by society because we have a long way to go. I hope we as a community can better work to show the true Christ-like love that I know our God would be proud of. As Leviticus 19:18 commands, “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people but love your neighbor as yourself”.

10 thoughts on “Chinese American Woman, Christian, and Pro-Choice: My Take on the Overturn of Roe V. Wade — Abby Stoa”

  1. Your view on a lack of religious tolerance compelling and insightful. Because abortion is being argued on religious grounds, I have seen that many view the issue as a binary Christian pro-life and secular pro-choice. Thank you for adding some complexity. Do you have a view on how the Christian community can/should work on the abortion issue?

    1. Hi Sarah! Thanks so much for reading and commenting! For me personally, I do not think that the views of Christians should at all impact what happens in our society as a whole, especially when it comes to making decisions in the law and government. I believe in religious freedom which includes people being able to make decisions for themselves based on their religion, but I don’t believe people should be able to make decisions for others based on their own religion. Hopefully this makes sense! I think one thing that the Christian community can do to positively help the abortion issue is to talk to other Christians about the issue, not those who are not Christian. Christians have a responsibility to hold other Christians accountable, but it is not our business to hold others accountable of a different faith. Especially if it is unwanted. Hopefully this was helpful. I’d love to talk to you more about this in person if you would like, too!

  2. Abby, I appreciated your blog post and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. You talked a lot about how vocal the Christian community is on the topic of abortion, but I’m interested to hear your thoughts on other religions’ takes on it. You believe that Christians should “back off” by becoming less outwardly vocal on their own opinions. Do you think they (Christians) should step aside and quiet down to let other religions speak and act on their own views towards abortion? Is this necessary? Should ALL religions strive to become less involved in human rights topics such as this, or should that only apply to the Christian community, as they’ve been the most publicly engaged? Is that even possible? What, in your eyes, is the role of religion and religious people in situations such as this, if they even have a role? Is it possible for religion and religious people to not act, or would you argue that that’s “unreligious”?

    1. Hi Jaden! Thanks so Mich for reading and commenting. I love your question. As a Christian, I think it’s really important that we don’t impose our views or beliefs on non-Christians. I find it to be incredibly ethnocentric. I do think I believe that all religions should refrain from having an impact on abortion issues. I think this all comes back to religious freedom for me. Those who are not religious should not be held to a standard that they are not consenting to. Your question regarding if it’s possible for religious people not to act is an interesting one. While I can’t speak for other religions I can speak from the perspective of a Christian. Many Christians argue that it is our responsibility to speak up and save the children who are being aborted, hence the reason why Christians are so vocal about this. However, there are a few areas in the Bible, specifically in Romans that urge Christians to NOT look down and judge those who are not Christian, but rather pray for others to find salvation in the Lord. So it can definitely go both ways, and the involvement in the abortion issue for Christians is definitely a heated debate in the community. Hope this helps!

  3. Abby, I found this blog post to be a very thoughtful analysis of different religious perspectives on abortion. As a Jew, I can relate to being a member of a religious community that is incredibly intellectually diverse, and I often struggle with my own coreligionists trying to speak on behalf of all of us. Admittedly though, my own community is much smaller than yours. I agree that it is unfortunate that so many Christians fought to limit the rights of women, and that in turn, Christian Americans have gotten a bad rap. I think it’s important to remember though that many of the most powerful Christians in America support abortion rights, like Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Furthermore, according to polls, a plurality of Catholics in America are pro-choice and in the not so distant past some power evangelical organizations even supported abortion access. Additionally, Jimmy Carter, our first evangelical and born-again president was a Democrat who although personally opposed to abortion, never challenged the legitimacy of woman’s right to get one. Overall, my point is that religion and politics are varied and ever changing and its up to people of faith to define their communities for themselves and try to ensure that their coreligionists lift up the marginalized, like so many of our great faiths teach us to do.

    1. Hey Jacob! Thanks for reading and commenting! I really appreciate you offering that perspective and drawing attention to the powerful Christians that DO support the right to abortion. I think it gets overwhelming to think about all the negative voices in the Christian community, but it’s also important to acknowledge the efforts of many Christians who have a powerful platform as you said. Thanks for your perspective!

  4. Abby,
    I really enjoyed reading your blog post and how it talked about very current events. I agree with a lot of the points you made-I’ve also seen that people tend to perceive Christianity as a monolith when it’s made up of so many different groups who have very diverse beliefs, especially on the issue of abortion. Even the Catholic church is not a monolith; the hierarchy says things that many churchgoers may not agree with. In Catholic teachings it is a sin to use birth control, but most Catholics still either use birth control or understand why other woman do. It is difficult to just say “Christians are pro-life” when each faith community-and each person within that faith community-might have a different view. I also think it’s important that some Christians remember that the United States isn’t a nation that was built to uphold one certain religion, and it is unfair to make people who don’t have the same religious beliefs follow a religious doctrine that they don’t believe in. Some Christians can be so focused on the idea of the unborn baby that they disregard the lives and physical/mental wellbeing of the woman carrying them. Very insightful article.

  5. Abby, I liked your ending quote, as I think it summarized your position concisely. I am not familiar with bible verses, but would be interested to hear your thoughts on different interpretations of the Leviticus quote. I think different people have different ideas of what love means and what exactly it may mean to love a neighbor as oneself. This is probably a microcosm for a larger split in Christian ideals like you alluded to and I would love to hear your thoughts on these different readings.

  6. I appreciated your stance on personal freedom within the context of religious communities. In my experiences attending churches from both Catholic and Protestant denominations, I’ve seen both try to simplify our Christian beliefs down to a few sentences that are intended to apply to anyone. Many of our core beliefs relate to supporting the good of the community and the protection of God’s creation. Abortion creates a tricky moral dilemma because it’s just so personal. I believe abortion should be a choice, made between one person and their doctor. I personally could never see myself seeking an abortion, but everyone’s circumstances, beliefs, and needs are so vastly different that I think it’s a great injustice to our society to take away this freedom of choice. Why should people be restricted from this healthcare because of a belief system or agenda they don’t follow? To me it feels like our government is reaching a point where the separation of church and state is no longer valued. When I’ve talked with friends and members of my community who have had abortions, all of their stories have one thing in common– they didn’t take their decision lightly. They reflected, thought about their options, and made sure they had a support system. Pro-choice or pro-life, having an abortion can be an intensely emotional, personal, and vulnerable experience. I think diminishing or silencing the voices of these people in our Christian communities who have experienced this is a great failing of the church. I also believe that we can seek to make reparations with these people, who because of religious and political powers, felt like their bodies never belonged to them. By truly listening to people’s stories without judgment, I think Christianity, other faiths, and the secular world would be far less divided.

  7. Hi Abby!
    I agree that when people talk about banning abortion for religious reasons, they are very likely to put labels on the whole group without realizing that this is exactly how stereotype works. I also appreciate the verse you address at the end, which understands the concept of love in a more inclusive and tolerant context and shows that the media does not comprehensively show the Christian ideal.

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