Mercy and My Abortionist

By Melissa Ohden

Editor’s note. This appeared on Melissa’s blog. She survived a saline abortion in 1977 and has spoken all over the world, including multiple times at National Right to Life’s annual convention. She is a published author and has written for National Right to Life News Today,

“Dr. K.” The abortionist who should have taken my life. Hardly a day has gone by in the last two decades that I haven’t thought about him.

Wondered about him.

What led him to become an abortionist? How did he feel about his dual career as both an abortionist and an OB-GYN?

What kind of favor did he owe my grandmother that led him to recklessly bypass hospital regulations and procedures so they could force the saline infusion abortion upon my birth mother?

Did he feel coerced or even forced into making this happen? I sense the irony there, considering that they forced the abortion upon my birthmother.

How much was he involved in the whole situation as opposed to my grandmother? Did he simply submit to her wishes and turn a blind eye, allowing it all to unfold?

Was this the first such circumstance of forced abortion that he took part in, or was this just part of an overall pattern that he engaged in? Was he a co-conspirator with my grandmother in more cases like this? 

I shudder at that thought.

How many live births from abortion did he experience? What were those children’s fates? 

I know of at least one boy surviving an abortion prior to me, per the account of a nurse who was working that day, who left him to die per her superior’s orders. 

Was he the abortionist in that case?

I know now from nurses who were working at the hospital that day how angry he was about the “situation” of me being born alive and rushed off to the NICU. Yet, I wonder about that, too.

He left that hospital almost immediately after I was born alive, per reports of the staff.

We know through accounts of a number of individuals that he was afraid of losing his medical license as a result of what happened with me.

Was I the last abortion that he performed? I can only hope.

Did the circumstances of the forced abortion change him? His perspective?

Did my live birth impact him? Did he later regret what he had done and seek forgiveness?

I may never have answers to these questions, but what I do know is that I don’t hate him.

I abhor what he did, not just to me and my birthmother, but to hundreds, if not thousands of babies and women.

I detest the act of abortion, but I don’t detest those who perform them. Dr. K. was more than an abortionist. 

He was someone’s son. 

Someone’s father and husband. I suspect he was a grandfather. 

Some of you may be angry that he was able to experience life when he took it from countless others. As you can imagine, that angers me, too. But my anger is directed at the circumstance and not the man.

We talk about hating the sin and loving the sinner, but in reality, I think many fail to put it into practice, including. on occasion, me.

I would love to know that answers to some of the questions and curiosities that I have about Dr. K., but in reality, it wouldn’t change anything. When I talk about loving someone unconditionally, I mean accepting their faults, their mistakes, recognizing their brokenness, their humanness, realizing we are all more alike than we are different.

No matter what he did to me and to others, I sincerely hope that Dr. K. repented for what he did. I hope that he made it to heaven. I hope that he experienced good in his life, even if he never wanted that for me.

Who do you need to show mercy and compassion to in your life? Who do you need to see through the lens of humanness as opposed to the lens of anger and resentment?