Woman who Survived Abortion Attempt to Speak at Walk for Life West Coast

Melissa Ohden, founder of Abortion Survivors Network and pictured in this 2013 photo, will speak January 21 at the Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco. (CNS photo/courtesy Melissa Ohden)

SAN FRANCISCO (CNS) – Melissa Ohden was delivered during a saline infusion abortion, a 2-pound, 14-ounce baby suffering jaundice and respiratory distress after undergoing five days of inhaling toxic salt and Pitocin-laced amniotic fluid. An adopted child, she did not learn the facts of her birth until she was 14 during a childhood argument with her sister. It wasn’t until last year that Ohden met her birth mother. She learned that her birth mother was forced to undergo the abortion procedure and that her mother’s twin sister – Melissa’s aunt – tried to help the pregnant 19-year-old escape from the hospital during the procedure in Sioux City, Iowa, Aug. 29, 1977. “It was literally forced upon her. She was given no other choice. We know that is representative of so many women,” said Ohden, who will speak Jan. 21 at the Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco. Ohden, who is now based in Kansas City, founded the Abortion Survivors Network, online at theabortionsurvivors.com. She counts 210 people who were born alive during an abortion. She said there may be many more. Those are only the ones who have contacted her. “I appeared to have a bleak future, but I was alive,” Ohden wrote in an account in 2007 for The American Feminist.