By Melissa Ohden
“You Carried Me”: That’s the title of my memoir, which was released through Plough Publishing House in early 2017.
The title has so many meanings behind it. God has carried me through all of the peaks and valleys of my life. My adoptive parents carried me in their hearts long before they held me in their hands.
And, of course, my birthmother carried me in the womb and later carried me in her heart, believing for three decades that I had died in the saline infusion abortion forced upon her at the age of 19.
As I recently reflected upon my life, my ministry and my book, I suddenly came to the realization that there’s yet another meaning associated with the title, and it involves everyone in the pro-life and pregnancy help community. I bet you weren’t expecting that, were you?
It hit me like a ton of bricks just a few days after my book was released. Through the selfless efforts of pregnancy help people, there are thousands upon thousands of children who can write a similarly titled book: You Carried Me.
I envision that some of their acknowledgements to their mothers might read like this:
- Despite the pressure that you were facing from friends and family to abort, you carried me;
- Despite the circumstances under which I was conceived, you carried me;
- Despite being faced with the decision to choose between your education or career and me, you carried me;
- Despite being told that in order to keep my biological father in your life, you had to abort me, you carried me;
- Despite being told that you would be kicked out of your house, disowned by your family, you carried me;
- Despite the lack of resources that you had, how you feared being able to provide for me, you carried me;
- Despite the pain you would face in placing me in the arms of my adoptive parents instead of holding me in your own, you carried me;
- Despite being told that I would be born with health issues that would likely limit or end my life, you carried me.
As you go about your daily work with women, men and their preborn children, this list could go and on. You witness firsthand how women are faced with what may seem insurmountable circumstances.
But with your support, the information and education you provide, the ultrasounds and medical care, the resources you provide to her or help her find, she is able to carry her child—whether she chooses to parent or make an adoption plan.
As the saying goes, “everyone has a story.”
But without the pro-life pregnancy help community’s day-in, day-out commitment to the women, men and children in your local communities and across our nation, there would be far fewer of these stories.
There would be far fewer children alive to write them. There would be far fewer women we could celebrate for their strength, love, and selflessness, and far fewer men to commend for their steadfast support and commitment to fatherhood.
You Carried Me. Three little words have never meant so much.
Melissa Ohden is the survivor of a failed saline infusion abortion. She is an internationally recognized pro-life activist. Melissa is the Founder and Director of The Abortion Survivors Network.
Find out more about her book, You Carried Me: A Daughter’s Memoir, at plough.com.