Pro-life activist Melissa Ohden shouldn’t be alive today. Decades ago, Melissa’s mother was pressured into getting an abortion. Luckily, the abortion attempt failed. As Live Action News reported in 2013:
The saline abortion, an injection of toxic salt solution into the amniotic fluid that surrounds a baby in the womb, scalds the unborn baby to death by burning through skin and into the organs. The process normally takes 72 hours, but in this case, it took much longer.
They believed that the baby girl was dead when she was delivered at St. Luke’s hospital on August 29, 1977, and they would have disposed of her, except that a nurse heard her “weak grunting noises” and made a decision that she legally did not have to make. She decided to give her care.
In a recent interview with The College Fix, Ohden shares about her experiences encountering resistance and attempts at censorship as a pro-lifer on college campuses. But what is most interesting is the way Ohden views the progress the pro-life movement has made, and the reality that we can continue it.
In order to best communicate with those who do not currently agree with pro-life values, we need to comprehend who they are, where they are coming from, and why they perceive pro-lifers as a threat. “Whether it’s openly discussed or not, we live in this culture that has embraced this narrative that abortion is a choice, it’s right, it’s legal,” explains Ohden. “So anybody who’s going to say anything different from that is seen as a threat.”
Ohden went on to describe experiences on campuses reflecting general attitudes of skepticism toward abortion survivors like her, along with pressure upon pro-lifers to keep silent. However, she also called attention to pro-life groups, specifically Students for Life and Feminists for Life, which have created support for fellow pro-lifers on campuses, providing them with the opportunity to unite and speak out for life regardless of the surrounding campus culture that seeks to silence them.
Through the work of these groups, minds have been changed and lives saved.
While positive progress is being made, there are also some difficult setbacks. For example, Ohden says that since the election of Donald Trump, there has been some polarization, with many reacting by retreating to extremely liberal viewpoints, perhaps shutting off to the possibility that pro-lifers do in fact have a valid point. “Even though we’ve really made progress, we’ve also at the same time really seen a backslide,” says Ohden. “The more progress we see, especially when it comes to pro-life issues and conservatism, the more we see attacks against us, even on college campus with rights to free speech and forming student organizations.”
Ohden called for women to consider the differences between what she calls the “second wave of feminism” (the Planned Parenthood version), and original feminism, which was full of pro-life values and is enjoying a resurgence among open-minded women and men who support equal rights for women – and also see a problem with destroying human life at will. In closing, she asks:
If abortion is about women’s rights, then where were mine? Where were the rights of my two daughters? Because my daughters would have never lived if that abortion would have ended my life.
Where were the rights of my biological mother, who had the abortion pushed upon her [by her mother]? Where are the rights of 64 percent of women today who report being coerced into getting an abortion?
We live in a world where this rhetoric has existed for 44 years, and the abortion industry has done a very good job of advancing that rhetoric in their favor. What I think we see now is that people use that rhetoric not understanding what it all boils down to.