Dr. Vansen Wong worked for decades as an OB-GYN who, in addition to delivering babies, also performed hundreds of first-trimester abortions early on in his career.
But Wong eventually underwent a spiritual transformation, embracing the Christian faith and pro-life activism, including opposition to California’s Proposition 1, which would add abortion rights to the state’s constitution.
Why he performed abortions
Speaking of his past work as an abortion doctor, Wong told CBN’s Faithwire it was primarily a financial decision, as he performed abortions at evening clinics in Sacramento, among other medical practices.
“I viewed it as providing a service,” he said. “I said to myself, ‘Well, abortion’s legal in this country, by law, our healthcare company has to provide abortion services, and it’s gotta be somebody in our specialty. And if I don’t help out in this cause, then it’s just going to fall on a couple of people.’”
Wong, one of a few doctors in the area performing abortions, said he simply believed he was providing a service to women and wanted to be compassionate in how he delivered that care.
His experience with abortion in past relationships also made him feel it would have been hypocritical to take a firm stand against it.
Still, Wong knew what was really happening during abortion procedures and argued most doctors performing them fully understand what’s required and what’s unfolding.
“Before doing an abortion, you’ve got to do an ultrasound to accurately assess how far along this woman’s pregnancy is — how big is her baby?” he said. “Because, if you are wrong, and either she’s not pregnant in the uterus or if she’s too far along, bad things can happen.”
Wong specifically spoke of “grave complications” for women if doctors miss an ectopic pregnancy or other complex situations.
Despite understanding what was happening, it took Wong time to realize his actions were wrong. After becoming a Christian, he said he went through a “process” until he came to realize “people are infinitely valuable [and] made in God’s image.”
“He knitted us in our mother’s womb. He has incredible plans for us. I really didn’t understand initially,” he said. “Performing abortions was wrong.”
The roots of transformation
More specifically, the starting point for Wong’s abortion transformation came when an 18-year-old patient he was caring for suddenly died after giving birth.
That “tragedy that is beyond words” left him professionally devastated as he grappled with the horrific loss and its potential impact on his career. To this day, he said he doesn’t fully understand what happened to her but that it led him to pay attention to God.
As Wong struggled to cope and feared he would lose his job, he said he “made a deal with God.”
“I prayed, ‘God, if you can get me through this mess, I’ll be yours,’” he recalled. “And so that’s how I became a Christian.”
Ultimately, his professional situation was resolved, though the crisis sent Wong on an emotional path to find Jesus — and away from performing abortions. His life dramatically changed as he began to attend church, and God started to work on his heart.
In particular, it was a sermon about partial-birth abortion — a process many liken to infanticide — that turned things around for Wong.
“When I reached the point where I knew … I couldn’t continue [abortions] anymore was the only time our pastor has ever spoken about abortion,” Wong said. “And this was during the time when the partial-birth abortion ban was being discussed.”
As the preacher described the “barbaric procedure,” Wong thought about the early-term abortions he performed and began drawing parallels.
“That made me realize, ‘God, you are telling me that abortion is wrong,’” he said. “And within a short period of time, as I was walking back to the parking lot, I realized that what I was doing with my small plastic tube was no less barbaric than what people who were doing these partial-birth abortions were doing. The body parts were smaller … but the act and the effect on that little baby was just as barbaric.”
Opposition to Prop 1
Flash-forward, and Wong is now speaking out against Proposition 1 to help people understand the dire nature of abortion.
“Proposition one is a constitutional amendment that says that abortion and contraceptives are a right for all Californians to have,” Wong said. “The problem is that abortion is not defined in the same way as it has been defined in law. So, in law, the definition of abortion is up to the point of fetal viability.”
He continued, “The problem with this Proposition 1 is that it would release any limits on fetal viability, and even proponents of the pro-choice movement say there’s a problem here.”
The debate over what the measure would do on fetal viability has many critics like Wong deeply concerned.
“Potentially, this would mean that any woman could choose to end the life of her baby literally up until the time she goes into labor,” he said.
Watch the full discussion with Wong for more on his story and his stance on Proposition 1.