Melissa Ohden sometimes thinks that her life is like the plot of a movie. The 39-year-old speaker and pro-life advocate has an incredible life story, one that is both miraculous and tragic, joyous and deeply painful.
Ohden survived a late-term saline abortion as a baby.
In a recent interview with Babble, Ohden described how she has struggled with anger and self-hate because of the circumstances surrounding her birth. Despite her pain, Ohden said she wanted to find her birth mother and hear her side of the story.
“I had to find peace in that, which I did, and really gave up any hope of hearing from her,” she said.
Several years ago, however, someone from Ohden’s biological family contacted her and helped her connect with her birth mother. Ohden said she learned that her birth mother was coerced into having the abortion at 31 weeks of pregnancy (she was told she was only 20 weeks along). She also learned that her birth mother was never told that she had survived.
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“My mother wasn’t just coerced, she was forced to have an abortion that was meant to end my life and changed her forever,” Ohden said previously. “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?”
Here’s more from the interview:
And although the journey has not been easy and at times “very painful,” Ohden says that her anger over what happened to her as been replaced by forgiveness and that she is grateful to have forged a relationship with her birth mother.
“We love one another and plan to be a part of each other’s lives,” she explains. “She knows that she can not replace my mom [and that] her motherhood to me was stolen, essentially, but she is thankful to my parents for how they raised me and knows that she has a special place in my heart and in my life. Now, we have a new beginning together.”
In her travels, Ohden said she also met a volunteer who helped to care for her as a baby after she survived the abortion. Michelle Lehr volunteered at the neo-natal intensive care unit when Ohden was born.
Several years ago, when Lehr learned that Ohden was coming to speak in her community, she went to see her, according to the report.
“I recognized her immediately and without question,” Lehr told Babble. “I had gazed at her so hard that day 35 years prior, that I could not forget her face.”
Ohden said she was grateful to reconnect with Lehr because it helped her to realize that she was not forgotten.
Ohden tells her story in detail in her new book “You Carried Me: A Daughter’s Memoir,” which is due to be released in January, according to the report.
“It’s like something out of a movie, right?!” Ohden told Babble.