Opinion by Melissa Ohden
On March 23rd, October Baby, a much anticipated pro-life film, will released. And through October Baby, the fictional life of an abortion survivor will be hitting the big screen, and hopefully touching people’s hearts.
Certainly, the message of October Baby is so much more than just about surviving an abortion. Not to be a spoiler, I will simply say that viewers will find hope, joy, forgiveness, and love, and they will experience through the film the impact that abortion has on all of our lives, while also experiencing how love and forgiveness set us free.
October Baby is poised to be a life changer for so many people, and I hope that it’s a game changer, too, when it comes to abortion. Although the life of Hannah is fictional, the reality is that there are a number of people around the world who can relate to Hannah and what it’s like to be an abortion survivor. There are a number of people who are the non-fictional equivalent of Hannah in October Baby; they are abortion survivors on the biggest screen of all: real life.
When I found out at the age of 14 that I was a survivor, it changed my life, and now, it’s changed the world, forever. But for many years, I felt incredibly alone. I was full of fear; I had to battle against feelings of shame, embarrassment, and even guilt.
Since I came forward publicly in 2007, I have felt the call to not only unabashedly speak out against what happened to me and speak up for the millions of children each year who are voiceless and then rendered lifeless, but to also reach out to other survivors, so that they can know that they are not alone, that they do not have to be silenced or shamed by the culture of death that we live in, and if they are so inclined, they can step out of the shadows and into the light to make a difference.
And now, I have the opportunity to reach out to survivors in that capacity and educate the public, at the same time. Through a new website launched today, www.theabortionsurvivors.com, you will find the most current information that exists about abortion survivors—whether it be statistics, news stories about survivors around the world, testimonies of individuals who wish to remain private yet still have the opportunity to share their story with others, or through the testimony of survivors who are engaged in public ministry, this website is the most comprehensive, up to date site with abortion survivor information. And as a survivor, it is my fervent prayer that people truly take the time to read these stories, read these articles and educate themselves.
Did you know that based loosely on figures by the Centers for Disease Control, there are an estimated 44,000 abortion survivors in the United States alone? (visit http://realchoice.blogspot.com/2011/10/why-not-ask-people-who-really-know.html for more information on this data).
Yet abortion providers and supporters routinely attempt to discredit and dismiss stories our lives, our stories on the premise that we “can’t be real,” we “must be lying.” And those are the ones that appropriate for you to read. Many are much more offensive, as you may have read in a recent article posted this week on LifeNews.
What these individuals fail to read through or acknowledge is that a number of survivors featured on the website, including myself, have the medical records that document the abortions meant to end our lives. Others have the information as it was passed onto them by their family members, often their own mother who tried to end their life through an abortion. It is important that we educate ourselves, in order to educate others.
In addition to providing this information for the general public, this website is attempting to provide a network for survivors around the world. Whether survivors wish to share their story or not, I have found that most survivors would simply like to know that they are not alone and would like to have the support of others who can understand what it’s like to be in their shoes.
As The Abortion Survivors Network progresses and grows, it is my intent to hold a retreat for survivors in 2013, to work on a pro-life video featuring multiple survivors, and to create a panel of abortion survivor speakers for educational events.
As a non-fictional Hannah who has lived the life of October Baby, I know that these are not small tasks, but I believe that they are important and necessary in this fight for life, and part of what I’m called to do. But what about you? What can you do to educate others about abortion and abortion survivors? First of all, you can kick back with some popcorn (okay, more like a box of kleenex for this one) and catch October Baby at a theatre near you. Bring others with you to the movie who you think need to hear its message. Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone who you think could benefit from seeing the movie!
Secondly, you can visit The Abortion Survivor Network (www.theabortionsurvivors.com) to learn more about survivors so that you can better educate others. We weren’t “just a clump of tissue or a blob of cells,” when we were unsuccessfully aborted, we were the very same people that we are today, just in a different developmental stage. We aren’t people who are lying about surviving, we are individuals who have experienced one of the greatest traumas in the world, most of our stories are confirmed through multiple, credible sources, and we are just trying to do something good with what was meant for such evil in our lives.
And lastly, if you, or someone you know is an abortion survivor who would like to be connected with other survivors, or would like to share their story, whether anonymously or publicly, have them visit the website or send an email.
LifeNews.com Note: As the survivor of a failed abortion attempt in the U.S. in 1977, Melissa Ohden now puts a face to abortion around the world, and gives a voice to the unborn children who lose their lives to abortion every day.