Nearly thirty-seven years ago, Melissa Ohden survived a saline infusion abortion. Now she is the founder of The Abortion Survivors Network, an organization that exists to educate the public on abortion survivors and to offer support to those who’ve survived failed abortions.
Last week, Ohden shared her testimony at the National Right to Life convention in Louisville, Kentucky. She began by explaining the abortion procedure that was intended to take her life.
During a saline infusion abortion, the abortionist inserts a needle through the mother’s abdomen and withdraws amniotic fluid. Then the fluid is replaced with a salt solution, which typically causes the unborn child to die within three days. Ohden said that children who die from saline abortions are sometimes referred to as “red-skins” or “candy apple babies” because the salt solution turns their skin bright red and peels it away as it moves into the internal organs.
For some unknown reason, Ohden soaked in the poisonous solution two days longer than usual, but was born alive on the fifth day. She weighed almost three pounds. Like many others, a family member coerced her biological mother into having the abortion. While intense pressure to abort often comes from husbands and partners, Ohden’s maternal grandmother was the family member demanding the abortion.
Since her grandmother was a prominent nurse and knew a local abortionist, she was able to bypass hospital procedures to facilitate a “secret abortion”. Ohden said, “My mother wasn’t just coerced, she was forced to have an abortion that was meant to end my life and changed her forever.” While the pro-abortion movement always talks about abortion as a “choice” and as a “right”, many don’t realize that 64% of women are victims of coerced abortion.
When Ohden was born alive, someone at the hospital insisted that she should be left to die. Originally, she thought the abortionist was the one who gave the order. However, this past year Ohden learned that it was actually her grandmother who demanded her death. Thankfully, despite her grandmother’s persistence, two nurses provided medical care that ultimately saved her life.
She continued by explaining how her mother’s forced abortion ruined relationships in her family. After the abortion, her mother and father split up and her mother severed contact with her grandparents. When Ohden finally found her mother and father, she wrote them each a letter extending forgiveness and love. She also said that if they ever wanted to reach out to her, she would be waiting.
Sadly in 2008, Ohden’s father passed away. He never did respond to her letter, but eventually she was able to connect with some members of her father’s family. She also established a relationship with her biological mother. To this day, her mother is still healing from the pain of her forced abortion.
Ohden said, “Her greatest regret as a woman in her fifties is that she never ran away from her own family. I always have to point that out to those who are pro-abortion. Where is the empowerment in that for a women, for that to be her greatest regret?”