William A. Donohue

Melissa Ohden should have died in 1977, but the abortion failed. On September 9, 2015, the founder of Abortion Survivors Network testified before the House Judiciary Committee to explain her story. I cannot improve on her testimony, so I offer an excerpt:

“From ‘botched abortion’ to ‘the dreaded complication of abortion’ (a child who lives), I’ve been called just about everything you can imagine. But as you can see here in my medical records from 1977, I am the survivor of a failed saline infusion abortion (the exact wording in my records reads—’a saline infusion for an abortion was done but was unsuccessful.’)

“A saline infusion abortion involves injecting a toxic salt solution into the amniotic fluid surrounding the preborn child. The intent of the salt solution is to scald the child to death, from the outside in.

“For days, I soaked in that toxic salt solution, and on the fifth day of the procedure, my biological mother, a 19-year-old college student, delivered me, after her labor was induced. I should have been delivered dead, as a successful abortion.

“In 2013, I learned through contact with my biological mother’s family that not only was the abortion forced upon her against her will, but also that it was my maternal grandmother, a nurse, who delivered me in this final step of an abortion procedure at St. Luke’s Hospital in Sioux City, Iowa. [It is a Protestant facility.]

“Unfortunately, I also learned that when my grandmother realized that the abortion had not succeeded in ending my life, she demanded that I be left to die.

“I may never know how, exactly, two nurses who were on staff that day…found out about me, but what I do know is that their willingness to fight for medical care to be provided to me saved my life.

“I know where children like me were left to die at St. Luke’s Hospital—a utility closet. In 2014, I met a nurse who assisted in a saline abortion there in 1976, and delivered a living baby boy. After he was delivered alive, she followed her superior’s orders and placed him in the utility closet in a bucket of formaldehyde to be picked up later as a medical waste after he died there, alone.

“A bucket of formaldehyde in a utility closet was meant to be my fate after I wasn’t scalded to death through the abortion. Yet here I am today.

“I’m here today to share my story to not only highlight the horror of abortion taking place at Planned Parenthood, but to give a voice to other survivors like me, and most importantly, to give a name, a face, and a voice to the hundreds of thousands of children who will have their lives ended by Planned Parenthood this year alone.

“And I have long believed that if my birthmother’s abortion would have taken place at a Planned Parenthood [facility], I would not be here today. Completing over 300,000 abortions a year provides them with the experience to make sure that ‘failures’ like me don’t happen again.

“As a fellow American, as a fellow human being, I deserved the same right to life, the same equal protection under the law as each and every one of you. Yet we live in a time where not only do such protections not exist, but my own tax dollars and yours go to fund an organization that has perfected the very thing that was meant to end my life.”

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