Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Abortion Survivor - Witness to Life

As a young married man I decided that I needed to compete my college education. When I qualified for my employer's tuition aid program we lived in Sioux City, Iowa. The city had a Catholic College, Briar Cliff, which, at that time, did not accept male students so I signed up at Morningside College, a Methodist school, a few block from our home. Both colleges are still alive and educating but Briar Cliff has long since become coeducational.

Thus my interest was peaked when I saw a link to an article on the Briar Cliff web Site on the Cardinal Newman Society's blog. The story is about a speaker who is truely an abortion survivor. Here is a portion of the her story.

"In 2008, Melissa Ohden gave birth to her daughter Olivia at St. Luke’s hospital in Sioux City – the same hospital in which she was supposed to have died 31 years before.

“The child who was not meant to live had a child who is so full of life,” said Ohden, who spoke in front of more than 60 people Monday night in the Stark Student Center.

In August 1977, Ohden survived a saline-infusion abortion attempt, a process intended to scald the infant to death with a caustic saline solution so that it would be delivered dead days later.

Ohden’s mother was an unmarried, 19-year-old college student, and her father was 21. She said to this day, she doesn’t know any of the motives that drove her biological parents to abort.

“If God ever intends for me to know what drove them to go to the hospital, I’ll find out in good time,” she said.

At first, the nurse who delivered her thought she was dead. But after it was revealed she was still alive, the 2-pound, 14-ounce Ohden received life support and treatment for severe respiratory distress and jaundice. As an infant, Ohden said doctors believed she would suffer from any one of a number of physical or emotional disabilities. She didn’t.

“I am truly one of the lucky ones; I stand before you blessed to be alive and blessed to not be handicapped,” Ohden said.

Her parents chose to put her up for adoption, without ever telling anyone else."

Her story also triggers my own memories in another way. Our youngest daughter was born in the Sioux City about a decade before Melissa's birth.

Read the entire story of Melissa's talk at Briar Cliff.

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