Many of our readers are familiar with the name Melissa Ohden. A longtime friend of Secular Pro-Life, Melissa is probably the most outspoken abortion survivor in the United States. She has testified before legislative bodies about her birth following a saline abortion procedure in the late 1970s, and she is the founder of More Than A Choice: Abortion Survivors Network.
But do you know the name Ruth Lindahl?
Ruth is Melissa’s biological mother. They were reunited thirty years after Melissa’s odds-defying birth, and they have fully reconciled.
As it turns out, Ruth never wanted to have an abortion. She was only nineteen years old when she conceived Melissa, and Ruth’s mother (Melissa’s grandmother) demanded the abortion and made the arrangements. When Melissa was born alive, the family conspired to hide that fact from Ruth and secretly placed Melissa for adoption, with the help of a family friend in the clerk of court’s office.
In an interview reported exclusively by the Christian Post, Ruth explains that her churchgoing, locally prominent parents were appalled that she became pregnant before marriage, and they pursued the coerced abortion to protect their reputations. (Ruth was in fact engaged, but her parents hated her fiancé, and the engagement unsurprisingly fell apart in the traumatic aftermath of the “abortion.”) Although Ruth is a woman of faith, she has harsh criticism for her fellow Christians who prioritize appearances over basic decency and compassion.
Melissa asked Ruth: “What would you tell someone right now, if somebody listens to this, if they’re thinking about having an abortion, what would you tell them?” Her answer was simple and powerful: “I would tell them to think five times over… that they will regret it for the rest of their life; they will think forever about that baby.”
You should definitely check out the full interview, which I am told is just the first in a series of videos uniting abortion survivors and their biological parents. Stay tuned.