Archive for the 'Media' Category

Melissa’s story makes an impact in Australia

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010
Melissa and Sonja from LNA Life Network Australia – Wednesday, October 06, 2010

You may recently have heard about Melissa Ohden considered a ‘voice for the voiceless’. Melissa miraculously survived an attempted saline abortion at around six months in the womb. After years of questioning she has emerged to tell her story of hope and triumph – to be a voice for the millions of babies who have not survived and the babies still being aborted today.

Melissa Ohden has had an enormous impact on those who heard her speak during her tour in Australia during September. In only three weeks Melissa spoke to over 2,000 people who attended events to hear her incredible story – high school students, the general public, business people, politicians, pregnancy support workers and others involved in various pro life fields and groups. Thousands more heard her speak on 5 different Australian radio stations and read about her in newspaper articles. She was on the front page of the Sunraysia Daily (Mildura local paper), with another large article on page four. She was involved in filming a television advertisement and YouTube footage, yet to be released.

Melissa demonstrated compassion and forgiveness when telling her story, and her audiences responded. Some with tears, sharing their own stories of abortion, or the stories of relatives or friends that impacted on them, some with gratitude that Melissa is here at all to tell her powerful story. On a topic that can be so divisive, Melissa engaged and embraced everyone that she came in contact with.

Some of the feedback from Melissa’s tour:

“Thank you for all you did in organising Melissa’s tour!!!  Congratulations on the success of it all. It was wonderful to have Melissa visit Toowoomba. Her personal story, interwoven with the devastating effects of abortion on individuals and society, yet triumphing in wholeness and forgiveness, greatly impacted all who heard her. The Gala Dinner was a special and successful evening with Melissa’s speech being the highlight.  She is a relaxed and gifted speaker who Emily’s Voice would be keen to invite again in the future.  The filming in which Melissa was involved on the following day was carried out with ease and enthusiasm.  Thank you for bringing Melissa to Australia!” -Emily’s Voice, Toowoomba.

“Melissa’s visit to Mildura was a bridge building exercise between those who already understand the damaging impact of abortion on lives both past, present and future, and those who had either not thought about it before, or had only experienced the righteous anger of those who oppose abortion.  At Zoe Pregnancy Support we believe the often harsh features of the polemic divide or ‘anti/pro choice…abortion’ is unhelpful and destroys opportunity to bring hope and genuine choice to those who most need it.  Melissa’s Social Work training underpinned her life story which speaks loudly for the truth about abortion in a gentle and powerful way.  It is without doubt Melissa changed lives when she graced us with her presence and shared her life story… Thank you Life Network Australia.  Thank you Melissa Ohden.  We are in your debt.  Together we have, and will continue to make a difference”. Anne Webster – Zoe Pregnancy Support, Mildura.

Melissa Ohden in Australia related links:

Open House Radio

Bill Muehlenberg’s Culture Watch

Australian Christian Lobby

A Catholic Notebook

Sunraysia Daily

HD. Magazine

Marked for Death

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

We were blessed to have Brad Mattes and the team from Facing Life Head-On visit us in August, where they filmed two episodes for their amazing pro-life television show, which recently received an Emmy award in recognition of their outstanding work.

The two episodes, entitled ‘Marked for Death’ aired at the end of August and beginning of September, and we couldn’t be more proud to have shared our story with the world about how I miraculously survived the late-term saline infusion abortion that my biological mother underwent, the journey of healing that I embarked on for myself and my biological family, the important role that adoption has played in our lives, and how I am now able to bring hope and healing to all who are affected by abortion.

If you haven’t checked out the episodes yet, I would encourage you to do so.  We will post the videos on our Media Page shortly, but until then, please visit: and pull down ‘Marked for Death’ episodes 1 and 2 from the viewer.

Certainly my life as an abortion survivor, one ‘marked for death,’ has at times been difficult, and the pain has run deeply.  However, I know that millions of people around the world are impacted by abortion each and every day.  Here are just a few of the comments that I have received from viewers who watched the show, and were deeply affected:

“That was an amazing story I too am a survivor of abortion and a christian for 4 years after finding my biological father 2 weeks after he died.  He never knew I existed and never had any children.”

“I am an abortion survivor at 6 months gestation.  My birth mother & father were married & she for some
reason got mad at my father & decided to destroy me.  As I understand it the doctor that performed the abortion  apparently received a conscience  at the last moment & managed to keep me alive.  Really only God could have done this.”

“This morning I saw the program…I just had to let you know the impact it has had on me.  I had 2 abortions over 20+ years ago and at the time I justified my decision because I was a single mom already…struggling to do the best I could for them.  It hurt me more than I could ever say to abort my children and all the years later I carry the pain and shame within me.  At times I have tried to believe that I had made the right decision or that I was “over it” but today after witnessing your story I know I will never be “over it”.  The loss of my children has been like the deaths of any loved one and while we may not get over it in time we can at least come to some sort of terms with their passing. But how do I come to terms with the knowledge I terminated their lives…? I know I need help in forgiving myself and pray to God for His forgiveness and help. Thank you and God bless you for your courage and strength to tell your story and standing up for all those affected by abortion. I haven’t been able to stop crying since viewing the program but I know this is good for me. “every unshed tear becomes like a stone around your neck” and I am drowning for the tears unshed over all the heartbreak of my decisions. “

Thank you to all who watched the episodes Marked for Death, and to all who sent me comments, please know that I was impacted by your stories and experiences.  I will pray for all of you were affected by our story, and I will pray for all who are affected by abortion in our world each and every day.

A voice from the womb you were not meant to hear

Friday, September 24th, 2010

A voice from the womb you were not meant to hear

Posted by Lyle Shelton, Chief of Staff on September 23rd, 2010

They live among us but they weren’t meant to.

Of the one billion unborn babies killed since society decided abortion was a better choice than supporting women in pregnancy, a handful survive to speak beyond the womb.

Melissa Ohden is one of them and listening to her is spooky.

“We know there are far more of us – people like us,” Melissa told a small gathering in Canberra last week.

Sometime in the fifth month of pregnancy, a doctor injected a toxic saline solution into her 19-year-old mother’s amniotic fluid.

Five days later she was delivered and a nurse left her beside the bed.

Upon hearing grunting noises from the 3lb ‘corpse’, doctors were alerted and her life was saved.

Her medical records explain her existence this way: “Saline abortion that was unsuccessful”.

Melissa has met around 10 other survivors and says because of the ‘failure rate’ saline abortions have been ditched for more effective methods.

Chillingly, she told of meeting a man who showed her his partially crushed skull from a failed late term abortion attempt.

“For some women out there to have a choice would mean that I would never have a choice.”

Melissa was adopted into a loving family and had a happy and normal childhood, unaware of the circumstances of her birth until her older sister became pregnant in grade 11.

In a bid to encourage her to choose life, Melissa’s adoptive parents told their grade 11 daughter of Melissa’s birth.

In the process, the teenaged Melissa found out.

“To say that it was devastating would be an understatement,” she says with raw emotion and tears welling in her eyes despite the fact she has told her story many times.

In adulthood Melissa attempted to track down her biological parents.

She wrote to her birth mother’s parents. “We have been waiting,” her grandfather wrote back.

This was the man who marched his 19-year-old daughter to the abortion clinic saying ‘you will do this’.

She has never heard from her mother.

A letter of forgiveness to her birth father was not answered. He died in January 2008 and her letter was found in the top drawer of his desk.

“When I saw his picture next to the obituary in the local newspaper, it was me staring back at me,” Melissa says.

She made contact with her father’s father and her grandfather is now her biggest fan, encouraging her to tell her story.

“If they (her grandparents) had ever been told about me they would have adopted me. They are grieving the loss of the choice they never got. Abortion hurts families.”

Today Melissa is the proud mother of two-year-old Olivia (pictured with her).

She has just completed an Australian speaking tour organised by Life Network Australia.

  • Around 90,000 abortions occur each year in Australia which is one for every three live births.
  • In Victoria, the 2007 annual report of the Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity revealed that 52 of 181 late-term babies who were aborted survived and were left to die. ACL has presented this information to politicians on more than one occasion. No action has been taken – yet.
  • Visit


Sunday, December 27th, 2009

I have been working and re-working a manuscript for about two years now that chronicles my life as the survivor of a failed abortion attempt, my search for my biological family, my search fo self/meaning/purpose in my life and in my ministry, and my life and work as a Christian and pro-life speaker and writer, mother and wife.  I think that I have finally focused my writing exactly where it needs to be, but I will let you, the reader, decide.  Here is the introduction to my manuscript, Ablaze:  Becoming Who You Were Meant To Be and Setting The World On Fire:

“If you are what you should be, you will set the world on fire—-St. Teresa of Avila

Like most, I have spent the greater majority of my adult years searching for myself, often in the pages of a self-help book, Christian or secular that it may be, hoping that maybe, just maybe, this time I would find myself within its’ pages; that maybe, just maybe, this time I would learn a new tip or tool or step that would help me to unlocking my “power within.”

In the late 1990’s, I was keenly focused on the psychology of the mind, probably because that’s what I was studying in college at the time, and I was not so much focused on my spirituality.  (As you will later read, I certainly should have figured out that while my inward focus in and of itself, was a positive, my focus on solely my head, and not my heart and soul, likely only perpetuated the problems that I was already experiencing).

While the new millennium ushered in many new changes in the world, and even in my own life, with a new focus on social work and counseling in my employment and academic studies, my emotional and spiritual wounds had expounded in just a few years from mere scrapes and cuts to gaping holes in my heart and soul.

I’m not going to try and pretend that even then, when I was spewing with spiritual sickness, when I was tormented every night with recurrent nightmares, when I was stricken with insomnia, various physical ailments and weight gain, when my behaviors bordered on obsessive and compulsive, that I got “it.” I didn’t.  Not for another good 10 years did I get “it,” but I tried.  I tried the best that I knew how to heal myself, from the inside out and discover what I was meant to do and who I was supposed to be.  I was a counselor at the time, and although I knew that even counselors needed counselors, I wasn’t ready to listen to someone else tell me what I already knew, what I already told the people that I served in counseling. I knew what I needed to do, I just needed to do it (or so I thought).

With a positive nod from Oprah, I read Gary Zukav’s Seat of the Soul and Heart of the Soul, expecting a sudden spiritual transformation.  As the years progressed, I moved back and forth between secular works to Christian works, from popular books to the obscure, hoping and praying that I would experience the same life-changing transformations that so many others that I heard about had experienced themselves.

I don’t want it to sound all negative, however, because my search for self and meaning, and my eclectic reading repertoire had its’ positives, too.  Each book that I read, each new theory of self-searching and purpose-fulfillment that I studied had a positive impact in my life, although most were incredibly short lived.

I won’t deny that many of the books that I’ve read over the years were, in fact, quite helpful to me.  Pastor Rick Warren’s A Purpose Driven Life truly changed my life, and was my first step in truly recognizing God’s pre-ordained purpose for me and my life.  Elizabeth George’s A Woman After His Own Heart, although it is not particularly about life’s purpose per se, brought me even closer to God and challenged my in every area of my life-as a wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, in my ministry and work, to be patterned in the image of the Lord, and to likewise, see God’s image in everyone I met and treat them accordingly.  The Secret, although rather New Age and secular in its nature, drove home to me the power of positive thoughts and feelings.

As I look back over the last 15 years of my life, my trials and tribulations, my spiritual and emotional challenges and growth, the amazing transformation that my life has undertaken, I wouldn’t change a thing.  One could say that I wasn’t reading the right books to fit my needs.  One could say that maybe I just wasn’t ready for what I was reading, or maybe I wasn’t open to it.  Heck, one could say that what I really needed at the time was a good therapist!  Whatever the argument, I believe that my search for myself in the pages of self-help and inspirational books was meant to roll out just the way that it did-this was God’s plan for me.  Nothing in my life has ever come simply and easily, and although searching endlessly for yourself for over 10 years is an arduous process, it is also an incredibly fruitful one.

Ablaze is a compilation of the fruits of my labor over the past 15 years; a compilation of what I learned about becoming who you were meant to be, of my own personal experiences as I “figured myself out,” as I grounded myself deeper into relationship with the Lord, and how I’ve set the world on fire as a Christian speaker, writer, pro-life advocate and witness to Christ as a result.  I hope that you find in this book something that was missing for me in all of the books that I read throughout my journey of finding myself and uncovering God’s intended purpose for me–how to set the world ablaze with all of His glory as a result.  So read on and blaze on, my fellow Brothers and Sisters, blaze on.

Survivor Champions Right to Life

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Survivor champions right to life
Tuesday, November 24, 2009, 21:19
This news item was posted in Featured Content category and has 0 Comments so far.

On the night of Aug. 29, 1977, Melissa Ohden’s mother was having an abortion at St. Luke’s Hospital in Sioux City, Iowa.

Over one billion babies have been aborted since the 1970s, but Ohden is one of eight known babies to survive the experience.

Her biological mother had a saline infusion abortion. This procedure was common in the ’70s, but is no longer performed.

By Tim LytleBy Tim Lytle

“The doctor takes out amniotic fluid from the womb and inserts a salt solution to burn the unborn baby from the outside to the inside,” Ohden said.

“My mother was then induced to have labor, and I was delivered.”

When Ohden was born, her two-pound body was supposed to be dead. After a few seconds, she began to make small, grunting sounds and demonstrated noticeable movement.

Even though the medical staff was not required to care for the barely alive baby, the staff transferred her to another hospital and checked her into neonatal care.

Carefully observed by nurses, the baby girl continued to grow stronger. On Oct. 17, 1977, Ohden was adopted. Doctors warned her new parents that she could have mental and physical disabilities from the attempted abortion.

The family welcomed her with open arms, and when she was 5 years old doctors assured the family that she was going to be healthy.

“I grew up in a loving home , ” Ohden said.

“My parents did not tell me I had been adopted until I was 14 years old. My older sister had become pregnant , and my parents told her about my abortion survival. That was the way the Lord intended me to find out.”

Ohden had support from her family but said she felt angry, confused, sad and scared after discovering her true past.

“I began to feel guilty for those emotions because it was a miracle that I was even alive,” she said.

University chaplain Dr. George Loutherback heard about Ohden’s amazing story and invited her to speak on campus.

On Nov. 11 she shared her testimony with students during chapel.

Sophomore nursing major Ashley Filippuzzi is vice president of Cru 4 Life, a
UMHB group dedicated to the pro-life movement.

“I am greatly appreciative of Melissa coming to speak with us,” she said. “I hope students are more aware now on the issue of abortion.”

Sophomore elementary education major Amanda Willey is also an advocate for pro-life.

“I hope that people heard her story and see how abortion affects so many lives, not just the woman having the abortion,” she said. “We have a responsibility to speak out about the abortion.”

Ohden said she has lived an “amazingly wonderful life” and thinks the Lord intended to spare her life so she could share her story with the world.

She continues to speak in the United States about the pro-life movement. She has her story at and has recently created the
Web site as a tribute to her first child, Olivia, who was born in 2008.

“My sites were developed to share with others about the impact of abortion,” Ohden said. “By doing what I can, it’s a blessing if I can change one person’s belief at the end of the day about abortion, and spare the life of a child.”