Melissa Ohden has a unique perspective on abortion that few others share. She was the baby who was supposed to be aborted.
In her new book “You Carried Me,” Ohden explains how she survived a botched abortion and eventually learned to heal and forgive.
“It was shocking,” Ohden said. “I was devastated. You know, at 14 years old, to find out your life was supposed to end… I was angry and I was scared. I was ashamed and embarrassed for many years.”
“The depth of my pain and the lengths that I went to avoid that pain–to try and distance myself from who I am–was very difficult to write about,” she recently told National Right to Life News. “But I think needed to be shared. Not many people can understand what it’s like to be me, but I suspect many people can understand what it’s like to grapple with pain, your self-worth.”
She told The Blaze she masked the pain with alcohol, sex and bulimia, but they did not help. Eventually, she said she found true healing when she decided to forgive her biological mother and herself.
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“Forgiveness is a huge part of my journey,” she said. “Accepting that I am who I am and I don’t need to be ashamed of that truly set me free. And I think that’s something a lot of people can relate to — you try to run away from something difficult or painful, but you just can’t. And my faith is what saved me from that. God put me on this journey and I’m thankful.”
Eventually, Ohden said she found her birth mother and began developing a relationship with her. 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). And her birth mother said she was never told that Melissa had survived.
“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?”
Along with sharing her story, Ohden is advocating for a bill that would ensure babies who survive botched abortions receive the medical care they deserve.
U.S. Senator Ben Sasse reintroduced the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act at the end of January. The bill would protect newborns who survive abortions by requiring appropriate medical care followed by admission to a hospital. It also would require health care practitioners to provide the same degree of professional skill and care as they would to any other infant at that stage of life.
Ohden said she probably would have died soon after her unexpected birth, if it had not been for a nurse who saved her life.
“My life shouldn’t have been dependent on who was working that day,” she said. “But really, it was.
“There are children like me that survive abortions on a regular basis,” Ohden continued. “… They need to be legally obligated to help.”