A day that will forever be ingrained in our history and our hearts.
By Melissa Ohden, Founder and CEO, The Abortion Survivors Network
Like me, I’m sure you’ll always remember where you were and what you were doing when the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe was announced. I’d love to hear from you where you were.
Me? I was in my hotel room at the National Right to Life Committee Convention, running through press release edits on the phone with a Communications team member from the Kansas Value them Both Amendment. (I’ve been part of their team for months now, leading up to the important August 2nd vote, that’s needed to ensure Kansas doesn’t become a destination for late-term abortions).
As we worked through edits, we both agreed we had “a few more days” to tinker with it, as it seemed unlikely for the ruling to come out that day.
As we talked, I had the SCOTUS blog running on my laptop.
WE HAVE DOBBS!
I’ll never forget the words on the screen.
I held my breath for what felt like a lifetime.
And then the ruling hit and so did my tears.
“I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe!” Bless you, my teammmate Emily, for letting me be breathless and stunned and elated and overwhelmed all at once.
As we suddenly stepped into this new moment in time, a time we all have worked for, prayed for, believed in, dreamed of, my phone began to blow up.
My first text?
It was from my oldest daughter, Olivia. She was downstairs in a pro-life teen workshop.
“The ruling came out!!”
“Roe was overturned!!”
“Where are you, mom?”
“I need to see you!”
People used to ask me when I thought this day might come. “Maybe in my children’s lifetime,” I used to say. And then, when the Court took up the Dobbs case, I knew the likelihood was that it wouldn’t be my children’s lifetime, but my own.
That feeling grew stronger when I attended the Dobbs rally and oral arguments on December 1st. My hope continued to grow with the Alito leak.
But every dream, every plan for how I was going to handle the day when my death sentence, Roe vs. Wade, was overturned, couldn’t prepare me for actually experiencing it.
The hustle and bustle of press releases, statements, media requests…they’re all part of the job as the CEO of a pro-life non-profit on a historic day like Friday. But the emotions of it all, the text from my birthmother, Ruth, proclaiming excitement over the ruling….the texts and emails from not only pro-life colleagues but abortion survivors around the world who we’ve served….
…Then the flood of emails and messages from abortion survivors, families and professionals including doctors caring for young abortion survivors, looking for help for both survivors and mothers parenting their young children who survived their abortion attempts and need help….
Nothing could have prepared me for it all, even though we had long believed that Roe falling would usher in a new time and space for healing for all impacted by abortion, especially abortion survivors and families impacted by failed abortions.
There’s so much I could say right now.
But more than anything, I simply want to say thank you. Thank you for all you’ve done to get us to this historic point in time. Thank your acknowledging and supporting abortion survivors and families. Thank you praying for us and believing in our mission at The Abortion Survivors Network.
As we enter this new era post-Roe, you can depend on us to continue on in our mission: Creating a world where the incidence of failed abortions and the lives of abortion survivors is openly discussed and accepted, survivors and their families are supported and healed, and abortion is unthinkable.
And with six new survivors reaching out and two new families being referred to us since Friday’s ruling, it’s clear we’re needed now more than ever. Survivors and families from before Roe, survivors and families from during Roe, and still survivors and families who will come after Roe need our programs and supports.
Our Education and Policy Center has been working diligently on Federal and State policy and advocacy efforts, including Born Alive legislation and reporting and contributing to research that not only shapes policy but educates and equips adoption agencies, social workers, medical providers, mental health providers and more about the unique needs of abortion survivors.
I’ll keep you posted on all of these continued efforts. Until then, follow us on social media for all of our interviews in this historic time including two Fox & Friends appearances with survivors served through our Network, two Newsmax shows, and more coming by the day. Breaking through the media silence on failed abortions is what leads more survivors and families to us, so keep praying for our team!
Again, thank you for all you’ve done and all you’ll continue to do as we rebuild a culture of life in America.