When Melissa Ohden was still in her mother’s womb, she was “soaked in the toxic salt solution for five days.”
“The intent of that toxic salt solution was to poison and scald me to death,” Ohden told a reporter from NTD.
Ohden, now 41, discovered in her teens that she is a survivor of a 5-day saline and fusion abortion. This news forever shaped her view on abortion.
On May 4, Ohden spent the day speaking alongside other survivors of botched abortions and pro-life activists to thousands of people gathered at Time Squares for a Focus on the Family “Alive From New York” event.
The event came months after the state of New York passed legislation to expand the circumstances under which abortions are legal, which now includes fetuses that are older than 24 weeks—something previously banned. The new state law also permits non-doctors, including nurse practitioners and midwives, to perform abortions.
At the event, the heartbeat of an unborn baby was amplified and broadcast along with images on a large screen for passersby to hear and watch.
— March for Life (@March_for_Life) May 4, 2019
Vice President Mike Pence tweeted about the Saturday event, saying the ultrasound display is “demonstrating the miracle of life.”
As Democrat Governors in NY & VA advocate for late term abortion & even infanticide – & Democrats in Congress refuse to allow a vote on the Born-Alive bill – TODAY in Times Square an ultrasound will be shown for all to see, demonstrating the miracle of life. #AliveFromNewYork
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) May 4, 2019
Ohden said that many people don’t believe that children survive abortions, but the very existence of survivors like her is proof of the contrary.
”I have my medical records, I have the admittance of my biological family. I’ve been united with some of the nurses who cared for me. So I have all of these pieces to the puzzle,” she said.
Ohden said that so far, she has been in contact with 286 other abortion survivors. Though many survivors won’t share their stories publicly, she said, “Just because they are private doesn’t mean they don’t exist.”
Abortion Hurt Her
Also an abortion survivor, Claire Culwell’s birth mother was only 13 when she became pregnant.
My mother didn’t have to the ability to raise a child, Claire Culwell told NTD. “She was told that this (abortion) would fix her problem and … that her life would go back to normal. But it never did.
“Abortion hurt her and it stalled her happiness for far too long,” Culwell said.
Culwell met with her birth mother ten years ago. “When my birth mother shared the story with me, and when I saw the pain and the regret that she had experienced from her past abortion, I knew instantly that, not alone was I not angry, but I forgave her completely,” she said.
Uncovering her mother’s story motivated Culwell to become more vocal on the issue of abortion. “Because abortion was affecting people just like me, and just like my birth mother who deserves better,” she said.
Pro-Choice Turned Pro-Life
Dr. Alveda King, civil rights activist and niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., said that she was pro-choice as a young woman.
But in the 1970s, after already having one baby, two abortions, and a miscarriage, King had an ultrasound that changed everything.
“I saw that little sonogram and I realized that that was a little person and that I had been lied to … that my other babies were babies as well.
“According to the words of my uncle, Revered Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” King told NTD. “So I thought about the little baby in the womb—a person who is alive as well. And the baby did not have a lawyer.”
Marjorie Dannenfelser, who is now president of the pro-life lobby group Susan B. Anthony List, also told NTD: “I used to be on the other side of this issue. I remember feeling the way they felt.”
She explained now with her pro-life view: “I think we press forward—we pass laws that save lives and we love our opponent every single time. There is no other way. ”
NTD News reporter Eva Fu contributed to this report.