Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of babies have survived abortions, and many of them are living in the world today.
This week, they posed a question to abortion activists through a new ad, “Can you look me in the eye and say I should have been aborted?”
The two-minute ad premiered at the March for Life on Friday in front of hundreds of thousands of people, featuring the stories of abortion survivors Melissa Ohden, Josiah Presley, Claire Culwell and nearly a dozen others.
Producer/director Lyric Gillett is the executive director of Faces of Choice, a new organization dedicated to raising awareness of the survivors of abortion.
“Faces of Choice was birthed to bring awareness to a demographic of survivors that has gone largely unnoticed: those who were aborted, but survived,” Gillett said. “I am convinced that the key to changing the cultural conversation about abortion is within the voices of the survivors.”
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The pro-life organization formed in the wake of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s disturbing comments in support of infanticide.
Last January, when asked about infants born alive from late-term abortions, Northam responded: “There may be a fetus that’s not viable. So in this particular example, if a mother’s in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered, the infant would be kept comfortable, the infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired. And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”
In the months that followed, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democrat lawmakers blocked a bill to protect newborn abortion survivors from infanticide at least 80 times. The Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act simply would require that babies who are born alive in abortions receive the same basic medical care as other babies born at the same gestational age.
Ohden, who survived a late-term abortion, said it is more important now than ever to tell their stories and bring light to the injustice of abortion.
“Through The Abortion Survivors Network, we have been connecting and supporting survivors for the last eight years, but this project, Faces of Choice, is the first media project we’ve been a part of that includes survivors from around the world,” Ohden said. “We can’t think of a more important time to come together and challenge the world to face the ‘choice’ of abortion and encourage people to ultimately find healing and create a culture of life.”
Though their survivals have been called “imaginary” and protections for them unnecessary, government health data indicates that at least 40 babies were born alive in abortions in just three states between 2016 and 2018. Researchers estimate that hundreds, potentially thousands, of babies have survived abortions over the past several decades.
Faces of Choice leaders are working on distribution for the ad, but they are facing hurdles. They had hoped to run a shortened version of the ad during the 2020 Super Bowl, but Gillett said the networks did not give them a clear answer.
“We are currently looking at other options and outlets and are in talks with various networks,” she said.
Ultimately, they hope the abortion survivors’ stories will break down the myth of “choice.”
“Abortion advocates need to look these survivors in the eye and come to terms with the fact that they are human, that their lives matter, and that choice is more than a word: it’s a person,” Gillett said.
The abortion survivors featured in the ad are: Dr. Imre Téglásy (1952, Hungary); Paula Page (02/24/54); Miriam “Penny” Hopper (11/29/55); Denisha Workizer (7/11/76); Melissa Ohden (8/29/77); Jennifer Millbourn (9/02/78); Jennifer Callender (7/18/80); Claire Culwell (3/06/88); Hope Hoffman (8/12/91); Josiah Presley (10/07/95); Asiimwe Ronald Williams (9/25/97, Uganda); Dona Marie Mendoza (Philippines); Jaylyn Schoch (8/15/03); and Zechariah Hagan (10/20/13), one of the first abortion pill reversal survivors.