Abortion supporters frequently turn to stories of women who have been raped or abused to justify their position. But there are also moving stories from pro-life women, such as Melissa Ohden who shares her life story as an abortion survivor and today calls for the rights of unborn children who in many cases, like her, face the possibility of being killed before they leave their mothers’ wombs.

On June 16, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution held a hearing on the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), which is intended to protect “health care providers” by allowing them to perform abortions “without limitations or requirements that seek to obstruct the provision of abortion services.”

Two pro-life witnesses testified during the hearing: Melissa Ohden, founder and director of Abortion Survivors Network, and Catherine Glenn Foster, president and CEO of Americans United for Life. Both shared their personal stories, one speaking as an abortion survivor and the other speaking as a woman who had an abortion.

Both testimonies sought to challenge the controversial WHPA legislation, created and implemented solely to defend abortion companies and eliminate any attempt to create any bureaucratic, health or financial barriers to abortion.

Melissa Ohden, introduced herself to those present as an abortion survivor and in her first words encouraged reflection by saying “How can access to abortion, the very act that should have ended my life, simultaneously be my fundamental right to exercise?”

Her 19-year-old birth mother named Ruth, in 1977, “had a saline infusion abortion imposed by her mother,” who was a “prominent nurse in her community.” Ruth and the local abortionist attempted to end the life of the innocent fetus, which miraculously clung to life and survived the attack. 

“This procedure involved injecting a toxic salt solution into the amniotic fluid meant to protect my fragile body, to instead poison and scald me to death,” Melissa said. “I soaked in that toxic salt solution for five days as they tried time and time again to induce Ruth’s labor with me.”

After five days, the little body emerged from the mother’s womb, but it was not stillborn as expected to everyone’s surprise. Of course, she was extremely weakened and had to fight for her life. 

“My medical records reflect that the doctors initially suspected I had a fatal heart defect due to the amount of fetal distress I presented,” adding that her grandmother demanded that she be left to die but fortunately a nurse rushed her to the neonatal intensive care unit, where she was helped to survive. 

Abortion survivors abound even today with the new technologies applied, assures Melissa, who from her association assures that she was able to have contact with 384 of them, from babies to people in their 70s.

As Melissa assures, the survivors of abortion practices are extremely uncomfortable for the defenders of abortion. Because they give names and surnames and give body to people, who at the time were treated as a simple fetus worthy of being killed for the simple fact of their small size.

For her part, Catherine Glenn Foster testified as a woman who had an abortion, also moved those present when she warned that when she entered the abortion clinic at only 19 years old she would have very much liked to have received “the basic community protections that this Congress seeks to destroy.”

“I walked through the doors of the abortion facility because I thought I was out of options,” Catherine lost her baby and regrets it today, no doubt what she would have needed back then was help, counseling and support, not an abortion clinic that is intent on maximizing its profits by murdering innocent lives without concern for the mothers and their future.