Human Rights

Meet four abortion survivors whose names you may not know

Gianna Jessen and Melissa Ohden are two well-known survivors of botched abortions. But there are many, many more survivors. Here are some of their stories.

I recently spoke to several classes of Catholic girls about the dignity of the preborn child. I began every class with a video of an abortion survivor and then asked the high school students if they’d ever heard a story like that before. Out of over 100 teen girls, only a few knew abortion survivors existed and only a couple could name a specific survivor.

In the most general sense, every person born alive after 1973 in the U.S. is part of a generation that has survived legalized abortion. Our parents had the option to abort us and instead they chose life. I believe many people have dynamic stories about their parents rejecting abortion but since it’s a sensitive topic they may never have been told they are a survivor. My own mom walked out of her scheduled abortion appointment but I wasn’t aware of that until my college years. There are also people like Melissa Ohden, Claire Culwell and Gianna Jessen who amazingly survived botched abortion attempts. Their stories are a continual source of inspiration to me.

Those stories compelled me to search for others who – like Melissa, Claire and Gianna – survived an actual botched abortion.

Hope

Hope still bears a scar on her forehead where the abortionist hit her with the abortion instrument.  She speaks slowly and needs the help of a wheelchair to move. As a 10-week-old preborn child, her mother tried to abort her and failed, but the attempt marked her physically with a  wound she’ll carry for the rest of her life. In addition to the scars, the attempted abortion left her with cerebral palsy.  In spite of what she’s suffered, Hope speaks kind, forgiving words to her birth mother:


David

After finding Hope’s story I came upon a video from a young Latino man named David, whose mother was in a relationship with an extremely abusive man when she became pregnant by another man. She knew her boyfriend would harm her if she had the child. David’s mother went to an abortion facility, where the abortionist told her she was too far along for him to perform the abortion. Sadly, David’s mother decided to take matters into her own hands. She began to drink, take drugs and engage in fights in an attempt to cause a miscarriage. Miraculously, David was born a completely healthy baby and was adopted by his grandmother.  After hearing post-abortive women give their testimonies, David decided to speak out. Listen to the powerful message he gives to those thinking about getting an abortion:


Lincoln

Lincoln also has an unbelievable story. His grandmother was raped while allowing a man to give her a ride home from work. She didn’t abort the child, but instead gave the baby to her sister to raise. That baby grew up to be Lincoln’s mother. As an adult, Lincoln’s mother had two children and then got pregnant with Lincoln by a married man and attempted to abort him. She did everything she could to try to get rid of him, but he survived and became a powerful minister who has preached on TV to millions of people:


Mei

Abortion is a global injustice, as Mei’s phenomenal story shows. She was born in China in the 1970’s under the One-Child Policy. When officials found out she was pregnant, they forced her to take very strong poisonous herbs but her baby didn’t die. Officials made Mei’s mother return and take more herbs which caused further bleeding and almost took her mother’s life. At that point they wanted to do a saline abortion, but Mei’s father said no. When Mei’s mother was 7 months pregnant she had to go to the hospital and when they saw her, they attempted an abortion again. Thankfully Mei survived and was born alive. The government separated her from her parents at birth but later they found her. Mei was very sick when she was born but now she is a healthy wife and mother of two children.  She feels a calling from God to speak out on behalf of vulnerable preborn children:


I’m grateful these brave individuals are alive to tell their story. As we can see from their videos, they are unique humans with a special dignity and a purpose – not simply part of their mother’s bodies. May their stories inspire us to keep fighting for the protection of preborn human beings.

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