How Do You Know if Your Pro-Life Work is Stopping Abortion?

Opinion   Melissa Ohden   Jan 3, 2012   |   11:19AM    Washington, DC

“How do you know if you’re making a difference?” the man in the audience asked me during a question and answer session at a high school pro-life rally that I spoke at in 2011. This moment will forever be ingrained in my memory.

I was not so much surprised at his question,as we all consider it from time to time, no matter what our life’s work, as much as I was at his tone. The way that he posed his question made it sound as if he wondered the difference that someone like me, an abortion survivor, a pro-life speaker and advocate, can make in this world.

“I know that I’m making a difference every day. I can feel it in the depths of my soul. We may never know on this earth the difference that we make, but we have to have faith. From time to time, I’m given a glimpse at the difference I make.” The words that came out of my mouth in reply were heartfelt and true. And despite his tone, the one that made me think he was looking for more quantitative data than a qualitative response, he seemed appeased by my answer. But was I appeased? That was the real question…..

Months later, I am still appeased. I believe every day that whether I am out speaking, appearing on TV or radio interviews, writing, or praying with Olivia for the lives of the preborn, I am making a difference. By simply living, by existing as an abortion survivor, by being courageous enough to be honest with the world about who I am and what happened to me, by sharing my story and life so that others can be informed and inspired, I am making a difference. And yes, every once in awhile, my qualitative heart responses are given a quantitative number, a life saved, a heart changed, that further appeases my soul.

I know first-hand of three babies that were saved from abortion, this past year, after their mothers had the opportunity to hear me speak and know the truth about abortion. I can think of at least six different young adults, this past year, who were courageous enough to come forward to me and share that their hearts and minds were changed on abortion after having met me and hearing me speak. And most astoundingly to me, I can’t even begin to tell you how many post-abortive men and women have found healing and peace after getting to know me and the love and forgiveness that I offer to anyone who has been touched by abortion. Truly, the emails and letters that I receive are staggering. And although I am most pleased to have a hand in saving the lives of children like me who are vulnerable to abortion, I am just as pleased to be bringing about a change of heart and an opportunity to heal, in a world where so many have been wounded.

As 2012 gets underway, I look forward to each and every opportunity that I have to make a difference in this world, and the beauty of it all, is that although we may not always get the opportunity to know of the difference that we make by working to save and transform lives, by simply sharing of our lives, our truths, our love and forgiveness, we are all making a difference every day, no matter what role we play in that work, and maybe, just maybe, by this time next year, we will all have the opportunity to reflect on it together.

LifeNews.com Note: As the survivor of a failed abortion attempt in the U.S. in 1977, Melissa now puts a face to abortion around the world, and gives a voice to the unborn children who lose their lives to abortion every day.