By Melissa Ohden
Editor’s note. This ran this week on the blog of Melissa Ohden. Melissa is the survivor of a “failed” saline abortion in 1977. She speaks all over the world including at many National Right to Life Conventions. She has often written for NRL News Today. Reposted with permission.
What do former abortion clinic workers and abortion survivors have in common?
More than you would think.
Of course, we’ve all witnessed firsthand the truth about abortion. Add in the women who have had abortions and share the pain of their experience, and we are together a powerful triad that highlights the devastation of abortion. We’ve seen it, heard it, and have to live with it and the memories of it.
It’s that very role as testaments to the truth about and devastation of abortion, however, that leads to another thing we have in common: we’re frequently told that we’re liars. It’s happens like clockwork—Abby Johnson does an interview on Fox and the insults are hurled at her left and right. “Liar! Liar! She’s lying!” When Gianna Jessen and I testified before Congress two years ago, the LA Times called us abortion “survivors.” By putting quotes around the word, it was if this were a term we’d made up, not a true representation of what had happened to us. In reality, my list of the media and pro-abortion supporters who have thrown insults our way over the years could go on and on.
Just this morning, I was reading a Live Action article about fellow survivor, Josiah Presley. Although most of the comments were positive, claims of his story and all of our stories being fabricated permeated the comment section.
In a world that decries fake news, abortion survivors and converted abortion clinic workers, even women who live with abortion regret, have long been targeted by pro-abortion supporters and the liberal media. Social media has certainly heightened this phenomenon. It’s easy to type accusations and insults in the comfort of anonymity, while those that you are attacking courageously live their lives in front of the world.
Not surprisingly, I’m contacted by survivors regularly who say that they will never come forward publicly, because they see the comments and attacks that come upon those of us who share our stories in the public arena. I know former clinic workers and women affected by their abortions who are public with their stories receive that same feedback from others with similar experiences.
Our abortion culture seeks to silence the voices of those whose experiences stand in opposition to the predominant narrative. Your life experience doesn’t support abortion as “safe, legal and rare”? It doesn’t fit with a woman’s right to choose? You are a liar!
As frustrating as it is, I understand the rationale. Once abortion supporters and the liberal media acknowledge the reality of abortion through our experiences, then Pandora’s Box is opened, and there is no going back. They would have to admit the devastation of abortion and change their worldview on it. And a changed worldview would lead to a change in our society and legislation.
It’s much easier to label someone as a liar, despite all of their evidence to the contrary, like survivor’s medical records, admissions by our biological families, clinic workers’ eyewitness accounts, women’s own experiences, then it is to change your beliefs about abortion. Our world is full of converts to pro-life beliefs, however, and so I know that it’s always possible to acknowledge and accept the truth about abortion. That’s one of the reasons why I have been willing to share my life openly with the world.
The question remains, however, whether people will allow themselves that opportunity to hear and see the truth. Will they allow themselves to hear of our experiences and be open to the truth about abortion? My faith tells me to trust God with those details, but I will continue to plant the seeds of truth, in the hopes that it someday grows.
To all of my fellow survivors, the clinic workers, the women who share their stories of abortion regret, I thank you. Thank you for being willing to change the abortion narrative that has permeated our culture for so long. Thank you for being willing to take the slings and arrows, the insults and accusations, that come flying at you every day. I’m thankful to stand alongside you in this flight.