I Survived an Abortion and My Daughters are Alive Because I Survived

Opinion   |   Melissa Ohden   |   Feb 13, 2020   |   9:17PM   |   Washington, DC

To many, the January 24 March for Life may seem like “old news.” But is not for the hundreds of thousands who participated and heard the President of the United States pledge his solidarity with us. That includes me.

Am I still reflecting upon it because we made history by having President Trump be the first President to attend in person? Of course! I was privileged to stand just a few feet away.

Am I still reflecting upon it because we made history by unveiling the “Face the Choice” video, the first of its kind featuring multiple abortion survivors (14 to be exact)? Definitely. That brief video will help keep the issue of children who survive abortion front and center long after the March.

There’s so much to be holding onto from the March for Life this year. For me, though, the most poignant reflection comes from the place of motherhood in my life.

As I shared in my speech, motherhood has empowered me. It has allowed me to love and forgive my birthmother and brought us together.

Giving birth to my two miracles, my daughters, now nearly twelve years and six years ago, respectively, were a huge part of my healing as an abortion survivor. But their lives have also empowered me as a woman. I’ll never forget that heady feeling of strength I felt after giving birth the first time, even though it was actually a complicated delivery. I felt that same surge of strength with our second child, Ava, despite facing obstacles after her delivery as her health issues were identified.

It was that same surge of strength I felt on the stage at the March for Life as I acknowledged our oldest daughter, Olivia, who was there in the crowd for the first time in seven years.

We educate people about the generational impact of abortion, but you saw it there at the March that day and heard it in the testimony of so many speakers. My children are being raised knowing the impact of abortion has had on our lives, our family. However, more importantly, they know the blessing that come from the gift of life.

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Although I trust many people might remember my words from that day, no one will remember them more than Olivia. And as she reflects back upon this day for the rest of her life, not only will she remember her mom’s words, but she’ll also reflect back upon how I came out from the stage area as quickly as she could, to find her and embrace her.

She’ll remember how her mom held her in an embrace and cried with a crowd of people watching. Tears of gratitude for our lives, for the momentum that I can see building for the cause of life, for a day when we don’t March for justice because Roe v. Wade has been overturned.

Yes, the 47th Annual the March for Life was truly one for the record books. But more importantly, it’s one for the memory books. The books that our children, our grandchildren will someday look through with that same sense of strength and empowerment that I felt on the stage that day; that sense of joy that comes from seeing life empowering each of us individually, and ultimately our movement and our culture.