While there are many people speaking out against abortion, there are very few people who have lived through an abortion. Melissa Ohden belongs to that small group of people: she survived an attempt on her life before she was born.
In 1977, Melissa’s biological mother decided to have an abortion in the fifth month of her pregnancy. While at first it was thought that the saline injection had ended Melissa’s life, a nurse noticed that she was actually alive. The baby was admitted into the hospital. The nurse gave the baby a name and brought her clothes and toys since she felt sorry that no one else came to visit the baby.
Miraculously, Melissa suffered no physical or mental handicaps as a result of the attempted abortion. She was adopted, and while she always knew of her adoption, it wasn’t until she was fourteen that she learned the reason behind her adoption. When she heard that her mother had tried to abort her, Melissa was devastated. She had always taken comfort in the fact that her mother had chosen to have her, even though she had been put up for adoption. She could not understand why her mother wanted to abort her. This left her feeling unwanted and unplanned.
Melissa balanced these negative feelings with the truth of being “fearfully and wonderfully made.” It was then that she was given perspective for her life.
I was scared to death, because I knew what would come. I knew I would have to bare my soul to the world. I knew I would have to make great sacrifices. I knew I would have to give up who I was to do what I was called to do.
Melissa doesn’t see herself as a victim—but as a survivor—because of the Lord’s hand on her life. She now represents children who have been aborted, speaking out on their behalf. She also provides support to women who have had abortions. Melissa gave birth to her first child at the same hospital where her mother had had the attempted abortion. When speaking of her child, Melissa stated, “I can’t imagine what the world would be like without her.”
Melissa was given life, and she has chosen to speak on behalf of the many children whose voices have been silenced. A documentary was done on her story, which is available here. The purpose of this documentary is to encourage those considering abortions to choose life and to help those who have already had an abortion to start the healing process. It has also turned people who were pro-life “in name only” into active supporters of the pro-life movement.