The global impact of an abortion survivor’s story

By Melissa Ohden

Editor’s note. 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.

January is always a month of great introspection.

The turn of the calendar page lends itself to the inevitable assessment of the past year, of years gone by, and the ever-hopeful look towards the coming year and even years to come.

The anniversary of the tragic Roe v. Wade which continues to convulse the nation 45 years later, adds immensely to our introspection. As a new year begins, another year has again passed, with abortion remaining legal and nearly a million lives being lost in our country alone.

Although my New Year’s resolutions change over the years, there is one constant, one that has unfortunately remained the same—you might call it my annual New Year’s resolution that I would love to see finally resolved: that abortion comes to an end.

It’s a sobering reflection, made more somber by the seemingly inexorable expansion of the death toll. But in the midst of it, I still have hope—hope that as another year begins, the plague of abortion will, indeed, end. You might ask why.

I could point to the pro-life victories made across the states over the past year. I could reference the positive developments, both at home and aboard, that we’ve seen under pro-life President Trump. But I would like to offer you something more.

Last January, my memoir, You Carried Me, was officially released. To me, it was a personal victory, to finally see all of my years of writing coming together; to have overcome the fear of having my life laid open bare for the world to see.

But as the months unfolded, I was able to witness an even greater victory—one that I had been longing for: my book, my life, would make an immeasurable difference globally in the lives of others and ultimately in our fight for life.

Countless post-abortive women and men reached out to me as they began or continued in their healing, over twenty abortion survivors connected with The Abortion Survivors Network. Individuals who consider themselves pro-life but had never been involved in pro-life efforts reached out to me asking for ideas on how to get involved.

Major media outlets covered my story, ultimately sharing the message about the sanctity of life and the impact of abortion, including Women’s Day magazine and The Daily Mail, among countless others in the U.S. and abroad, including NRL News and NRL News Today.

Out of all of the media coverage that was garnered over the past year, though, the most surprising was the television show Inside Edition. It was not only because they were interested in sharing my story when mainstream television is largely so unfriendly to the pro-life cause. It was also because ultimately, my interview led to the most monumental experience yet, that gives me the greatest hope—my birthmother shared her story with them in an interview, too.

The interviews have yet to air, but I can tell you that my birthmother choosing to come forward publicly with her story for the first time brings me incredible hope.

If you would have asked me one year ago if my birthmother was ever going to share her story publicly, I would have answered you with a resounding ‘no.’ She had come so far in even contributing to my book, but I know how hard sharing such a personal story is. I know how hard living this life story out loud is.

But what a difference a year can make! And by the look of strength and joy that shone upon her face as she participated in that interview, her steps forward have just begun. Yet another chapter in our story has opened, that I never fathomed would.

Just as God has continued to unfold the stories of our lives, I can’t help but look forward with anticipation to how the story of how abortion is ended unfolds itself. God only knows what chapters in this fight will unfold over the next year, but I think we’ll have a lot to reflect upon next year at this time and be truly thankful for.