Abortion Survivor: ‘I Should Have Been Another Statistic'

By Melanie Arter | September 9, 2015 | 2:15pm EDT
As supporters of Planned Parenthood looks for seats, Melissa Ohden, center, pro-life supporter from Gladstone, Mo., waits to testify before the House Judiciary Committee hearing at the Capitol in Washington examining the abortion practices of Planned Parenthood, today. (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – Melissa Ohden, founder of the Abortion Survivors Network, testified Wednesday before the House Judiciary Committee that she survived a procedure that was intended to scald her to death “from the inside out.”

Ohden noted that according to Planned Parenthood’s 2013-2014 fiscal report, the nation’s largest abortion provider performed 327,653 in one year.

“Based on these numbers, 897 children will lose their lives to an abortion completed by Planned Parenthood each and every day. Why do I find this horrific? Because I have a lot in common with these children. I was meant to be one of them. I should have been just another statistic, but by the grace of God, I am more than a statistic,” said Ohden.

“You wouldn’t know it by looking at me today, but in August of 1977, I survived a failed saline infusion abortion,” said Ohden. “A saline infusion abortion involves injecting a toxic salt solution into the amniotic fluid surrounding the preborn child. The intent of that salt solution is to scald the child to death, from the outside in.”

Ohden testified during a hearing titled, “Planned Parenthood Exposed: Examining the Horrific Abortion Practices at the Nation’s Largest Abortion Provider,” which was called in reaction to a series of recent undercover videos by the Center for Medical Progress, which showed Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of unborn baby body parts.

“I come here today as a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a Master’s level prepared social worker, and yes, as an abortion survivor. From a ‘botched abortion’ to ‘the dreaded complication’ (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 … saline infusion for an abortion was done but was unsuccessful,” Ohden said.

It took “years to unravel the secrets” surrounding Ohden’s survival, and despite contacting her biological family and medical professionals who were involved in her care, what she knows for certain “is that my life was intended to be ended by an abortion, and even after I survived, my life was in jeopardy.”

Ohden discovered that after five days of soaking in a “toxic salt solution,” her biological mother’s labor was induced, and she “should have been delivered dead, as a successful abortion.”

It was her maternal grandmother, a nurse, who delivered her at St. Luke’s Hospital in Sioux City, Iowa, but when her grandmother realized the abortion did not kill Ohden, her grandmother “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 ultimately sustained my life,” Ohden testified.

She said children like her who were born alive at St. Luke’s were usually left to die in a bucket of formaldehyde in a utility closet.

“In 2014, I met a nurse who assisted in a saline infusion 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 medical waste after he died there, alone,” Ohden said.

“A bucket of formaldehyde in a utility closet was meant to be my fate after I survived that abortion attempt,” she added.

Weighing 2 lbs. 14 oz., Ohden suffered from “jaundice, severe respiratory problems and seizures.” According to her medical records, she appeared to be around 31 weeks gestational age when she survived the botched abortion.

“Despite the miracle of my survival, the doctor’s prognosis for my life was very poor initially. My adoptive parents were told that I would suffer from multiple disabilities throughout my life. Yet, here I am today, perfectly healthy. Yet I know it isn’t just how abortion ends the life of children like me that isn’t talked about in today’s world. It’s also not discussed what happens to children like me who live,” she said.

Although Ohden didn’t survive an abortion at Planned Parenthood, she said, “I have long believed that if my birth mother’s abortion would have taken place at a Planned Parenthood, 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 exist.”

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