An “Ultra-Personal” Story From an Abortion Survivor

By Dave Andrusko

Amazing that two stories can appear in the same newspaper within hours of one another, but send such dramatically different messages.

Over at “Baby Elizabeth and the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” we talk about a tragic case, first discussed publicly yesterday in the Des Moines Register, in which the parents have persuaded themselves that aborting their injured unborn child would have been the “best solution.”

That same newspaper also ran a powerful story about Melissa Ohden, one of the very, very few babies to survive an abortion. The headline is “Iowan survived abortion attempt as infant, now crusades against it.”

Kyle Munson has written a wonderful story about Ohden, now 33, someone I’m sure the pro-life community will hear more and more about in the future.

Some of the ironies are staggering. Ohden is the mother of Olivia, who will be three next month. She delivered her daughter at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Sioux City, the same hospital that her mother aborted Ohden at in 1977!

The story in one sense is all-too-typical. Ohden’s biological mother was a unmarried teenage college freshman. In those days late second-trimester abortions typically used what pro-lifers call “salt poisoning”—a saline infusion that is designed to both poison the baby and induce labor.

Her mother received the infusion on August 24, 1977. Five days later (according to hospital records), Ohden “was delivered spontaneously in bed by a nurse” with a “weak cry” weighing at 2 pounds, 14 ounces. A day later she as described as “Active. Color good. Slight jaundice.”

Unlike some of the other survivors of saline abortions, Ohden does not have “tangible physical or mental disabilities.”

This is one of those stories where it best if you read it on your own from start to finish.

Let me just say there are heroes, such as her adoptive parents Ron and Linda Cross. When they first saw Ohden (at one and a half months) “her head was shaved from temple to temple where IVs had been inserted,” Munson writes. “She was still too weak to suck down liquids.

But “When they put her in my arms, I just knew everything was going to be OK,” Linda Cross said.

And there are what can only be described as miracles. Munson reports that her biological mother reported herself as 18 weeks pregnant. In truth, doctors estimated Melissa as closer to 31 weeks!

Take five minutes out of your busy schedule and go to You will meet a remarkable young woman whose story will inspire, motivate, and encourage you.

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