By Dave Andrusko
Hats off to the planners of the opening two general sessions of NRLC 2018, the three-day convention that kicks off today just outside of Kansas City, Kansas. Each session reinforced the already considerable power of the other.
As we discussed elsewhere today, in the first General Session, Dr. George Delgado explained in easily accessible language how “APR” (Abortion Pill Reversal) works to give women a second chance should they decide in mid-stream not to complete a chemical abortion. Hundreds of babies have already been saved because their mothers did not take the second of two drugs and instead were administered progesterone.
These are “abortion survivors.”
So, too, in a different way are Sarah Zagorski, Dan Compton, and Melissa Ohden, who spoke at “The Human Face of Abortion” General Session. Their stories are riveting and illustrate that while not common, there are abortion survivors whose living testimonies often leave pro-abortionists speechless.
Melissa survived a saline abortion in 1977. Her mother was told she was 20 weeks along when the truth was she was more like 30 weeks. Melissa pointed out that just last weekend she’d been interviewed by a pro-choice feminist historian at a woman’s conference.
During the conversation, the idea that abortion was, or can be, “merciful” was floated. But what could the historian say when Melissa pointed to the nurses and others in the NICU who refused to allow her to be neglected—that was merciful, not attempting to kill her. Or to the husband and children Melissa had that she wouldn’t, had the abortionist not “failed”?
Dan’s “abortion survivor” story is so complicated he only had time to touch on a few twists and turns. Raised in a Godly family, Dan chose to rebel and wasted a decade in alcohol and drug abuse.
His spiritual transformation is, in many ways, no less miraculous than the “rest of the story” about his birth that he did not learn about until he was an adult. For whatever reason, one of the most notorious late-term abortionists in the world, the late George Tiller, would not abort Dan’s mother. Not only did Tiller allow Dan’s mother to stay at his home until it was time, he delivered Dan!
Of course, Dan said he could not reconcile that action with Tiller’s 50,000 abortions or “why me?” and not all the others. But he is alive, a husband and a father and “because I was given life there is a whole line of people who will exist as a result.”
Sarah Zagorski —another abortion survivor. Her mother was mentally ill and already had seven children when she became pregnant with Sarah. At 26 weeks she went to an abortionist who “unsuccessfully” aborted Sarah.
As she explained to the audience, she was delivered alive and the abortionist encouraged her mother to leave her for dead (she was not breathing when she was born). But her mother refused and instead fought for her life.
Her story of her chaotic upbringing, her years in the foster care system, fortunately ended in adoption. Sarah lives a purposeful life, with a husband and children, and Special Projects Director for Louisiana Right to Life. As Sarah told the audience, all this was made possible because of the “gift” her mother gave her, a mother who lived in poverty and who battled mental illness.
National Review Online’s Kathryn Jean Lopez recently asked Sarah about the gratitude she feels toward her birth mother:
The gratitude I feel for my birth mother is similar to what I feel toward my adoptive mother in that both women rescued my life from death. I am alive because of my birth mother’s pro-life choice, and I am the person I am today because of my foster family’s commitment to my care.