Melissa Ohden shouldn’t be alive today.
And yet, she’s in North Dakota to tell her story tonight.
Melissa Ohden is a survivor of an attempted abortion.
When she found out she was a survivor at age 14 – she set herself on a path to meet her birth parents and eventually share her story.
“This is what a failed abortion looks like,” said Melissa Ohden, Abortion Survivor.
41 years ago, Melissa Odhen survived a saline infused abortion.
“Over a typical 72 hour period the child would soak in that toxic salt solution being poisoned to death,” said Ohden.
The abortion was a 5 day procedure. When she was delivered – medical professionals were surprised to find out that she was alive.
“The fact that I was able to live and weighed almost 3 pounds actually indicated she was probably closer to 31 weeks,” said Ohden.
Melissa was adopted and while growing up, was told she had health problems as an infant. At age 14 – she found out the real story. When she was 19 – she went looking for her birth parents.
“They ultimately gave me life,” said Ohden.
She never got the chance to connect with her birth father because he passed away but she did find her birth mother.
“Now my birth mother really is a huge part of my life,” said Ohden.
Through the reconnection, she learned a lot more about her mother’s situation. She was 19 years old, a college student, and was forced by her family to get the abortion.
“She said my greatest regret in life is that I didn’t run away in order to protect you,” said Ohden.
Even after Melissa found out that she survived a failed abortion – she learned that her biological mother didn’t even know she had survived.
“I was rushed off to the NICU without her knowledge that I survived and so she lived with incredible heartache,” said Ohden.
Now, they are all connected and together they are sharing their story.
“For a life that was supposed to end and so many secrets hidden and to now be connected with them it’s pretty amazing,” said Ohden.
Melissa has a family of her own – she’s married with two healthy daughters.
She also has a half sister and her birth mother lives in the same city.
She is speaking at Dakota Hope Clinic’s Banquet tonight for more than 800 people.