By Melissa Ohden
Editor’s note. The name of Melissa Ohden is very familiar to pro-lifers. The survivor of a 1977 saline infusion abortion, Melissa has shared her testimony around the world. She has spoken at many NRLC conventions and written a number of stories for NRL News Today. She wrote this at my request.
Last week, to the cheers of state Democratic officeholders, New York expanded the “right” to abortion up to birth and removed legal protection for babies who survive abortions. It is no exaggeration to say the “Reproductive Health Act” represents a watershed in the 46 years since Roe v. Wade was handed down.
As if the legislation itself wasn’t barbaric enough, there was the celebration of its passage. The cheers, the smiles, and the order by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to light the One Trade Tower in pink—the fact that you can now legally end the life of your child at any point, for any reason, is somehow cause for gleeful celebration?
It’s easy to sit back and be grateful that you don’t live there, that Cuomo is not your governor, that your state is far better off than New York. But I think we need to face an uncomfortable truth.
What would happen if we were to collectively hold up a mirror and see our reflections? Would we have to acknowledge that our country is more like New York than we’d care to admit?
Whatever the answer is, we don’t have to be.
In 1973, Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton forever changed our nation. In the ensuring years, we’ve ended the lives of an estimated 60 million children in our country.
Add into those 60 million lost lives the hundreds of millions of lives impacted: the women who had the abortions, the men who were involved or maybe didn’t involve themselves at all, which led to the abortion, the doctors, the nurses, the abortion clinic workers, extended family members–so many lives have been forever altered by the “choice” to end an unborn life.
Laws like that passed in New York and copycat measures proposed (or in the works) in Virginia and three other states say something most of us who rather not face.
Our entire country has been forever changed, whether we talk about our personal experiences with abortion or not.
The intrinsic value and dignity of life has been overlooked, diminished, forgotten. Misleading rhetoric has clouded the foundational truth that we all deserve the protection of the law. Consider how far we have slid.
Initially, people were told the unborn child was not yet human—that “it’s” merely a clump of cells, a blob of tissue, a product of conception.
However the science of human development and the technology of ultrasound show unborn children moving and responding in their mother’s womb. No “blob of tissue” does that.
Faced with 4-color ultrasounds, the pro-abortion argument placed even emphasis on “women’s rights,” and attempted to morph the destruction of preborn life into an example of “reproductive healthcare.”
Abortion isn’t healthcare. Pregnancy isn’t a disease.
We are a nation that prides itself on its successes and the great example we are to the rest of the world in so many areas. Yet we are one of just seven countries that allow abortion without restriction at the national level.
Although the number of people who identify as pro-life is comparable to the number who identify as pro-choice, the reality is that the abortion industry, pro-choice legislators, and the mainstream media that support unlimited abortion have created an environment where New York is seen by many as a cause for to cheer not a reason to grieve.
On January 28th, Virginia Democrat state Delegate Kathy Tran proposed the “Repeal Act” that she freely admitted would allow abortions up until the point of birth. Although this bill was defeated in sub-committee, it is just the latest in a rash of similar legislation being introduced across the country.
If that wasn’t gruesome and heartless enough, Gov. Northam defended Del. Tran. In the process, he told a radio audience that should a baby survive an abortion, she/he should be made “comfortable.” What about resuscitation? “If that’s what the mother and the family desired. And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”
That struck home. I’m the survivor of a failed saline infusion abortion forty-one years ago. It’s an absolute miracle that I survived. Left to the tender mercies of Del. Tran and Gov. Northam, I would not be alive today.
All is not lost, however. I’ve been encouraged by the response of people across the country who are taking notice of what’s been happening in the last few weeks.
Referring to the comments of Del. Tran and Gov. Northam, President Trump said, “This is going to lift up the whole pro-life movement like maybe it’s never been lifted up before,” adding, “I think this will very much lift up the issue because people have never thought of it in those terms.”
True, there are states such as New York and Virginia and Vermont and New Mexico where (to legislators at least) unborn life is cheap. But we are a nation full of individuals, organizations, legislators, and even members of the media who believe that life is an intrinsic right that should be protected and respected as such.
That would include all the thousands and thousands of pro-lifers who are reading this post.
We have the opportunity to look upon New York and not just say, “How horrible,” but rather “No more! Never again!”
We have the opportunity to use our experiences and raise our collective voices that value life to let the abortion industry and those who push their agenda know that they don’t speak for us and they don’t represent the entirety of our nation.
I refuse to be New York.
I will work so that our country looks nothing like it.
And I know you will likewise work untiringly.