A woman who survived an abortion attempt has used her story to share a pro-life message.
Melissa Ohden was born at seven months, despite an intended abortion, in Iowa in 1977.
She has since gone on to start the Abortion Survivors Network and is now in contact with hundreds of abortion survivors around the world, including two in the UK.
Ohden was rescued when a nurse involved in the procedure heard her cries for life and placed her in a nearby incubator.
When she was adopted, her new parents were warned that she would suffer “terrible disabilities” as a result of the abortion attempt.
Melissa, who is now in good health and a married mother of two, has made it her mission to provide a voice for those who have survived abortion.
Life from conception
She also raises awareness of the pro-life campaign around the world.
She said: “Every life is important from the moment of conception until natural death and that it should be protected.”
“We have to continue to educate people and speak the truth in love.”
“Education is so very important for people to understand what abortion involves. I think it is important to listen to stories like mine,” she said.
Last year, she testified at a Congressional hearing that was investigating Planned Parenthood’s alleged involvement in the sale of illegal foetal tissue.
“I have long believed that if my birth mother’s abortion had taken place at Planned Parenthood, I would not be here today,” she stated to the hearing.
Love and forgiveness
Last month, she had her first face-to-face meeting with her birth mother.
She told Melissa, “There is no way you can forgive any of us because of what we did to you.”
But Melissa says her birth mother “has to accept that she is loved and forgiven.”
“Even though all of this work that I do is important – loving her is the most important thing I will ever do”, she concluded.