Faithful progressives and the fight for reproductive rights

A conversation with Faith Choice Ohio’s Elaina Ramsey about keeping faith while fighting for choice

Sarah Stankorb

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Elaina Ramsey, center, with other advocates

The following is an excerpt from my newsletter, In Polite Company. Click though below to read the entire interview.

In Polite Company aims to offer rich context on a range of faith-related topics. I’ll do so with weeks-long themes. Recently, I looked at the ways adoption is framed as an easy answer by many evangelicals. (It isn’t one.) This week, you’re invited in to share a conversation with Elaina Ramsey, Executive Director, Faith Choice Ohio.

I first got to know Elaina a few years ago, when I wrote this story for GEN about women who’d begun questioning their version of Christianity due to then-President Trump’s rhetoric and in rejection of other far-right positions. Elaina was raised in Ohio, active in the Vineyard church and Campus Crusades for Christ. She was also like many women in similar churches, pressured to remain “pure” and virgins until marriage. After she was sexually assaulted, she had to contemplate what she would choose if she became pregnant. Seeing that decision was no longer as simple as she once imagined led to a broader evaluation of her faith.

Today, she leads Faith Choice Ohio, which elevates the moral power of faith communities to expand abortion access and advance reproductive health, rights, and justice.

In many ways, today’s Q&A is a reminder that life experience can change a person’s sense of morality over time, and their faith can maintain and grow even with that change. This interview has been lightly edited for space.

Elaina Ramsey, executive director, Faith Choice Ohio

Sarah Stankorb: I was in Anaheim in June for the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting, and there was an argument made that SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) represents the largest evangelical group in the country. They are well organized and have the ground game to go state-to-state to change laws concerning abortion. They have aims to reach all 50 states, one day working their way all the way to

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Sarah Stankorb

Sarah Stankorb has published with The Washington Post, Marie Claire, Glamour, O, and The Atlantic (among others). @sarahstankorb www.sarahstankorb.com