Mrs. Melissa Ohden who survived a saline infusion abortion testified at a House Judiciary Committee hearing about Planned Parenthood's medical procedures. Planned Parenthood has been under fire after videos were released showing how the mega abortion provider sold fetal tissue to researchers. Founder of the Abortion Survivor's Network, Mrs. Ohden gave this moving testimony in 2015.
God bless you.
You wouldn't know it by looking at me today, but in August of 1977 I also survived a saline infusion abortion. And as Gianna shared, that saline infusion abortion involved injecting a toxic salt solution into the amniotic fluid surrounding the pre-born child. The intent of that toxic salt solution is to scald the child to death from the outside in.
For days I soaked in that toxic salt solution, and on the fifth day of the procedure my biological mother, who was a 19-year-old college student, delivered me after her labor was induced. I should have been delivered dead that day as a successful abortion.
In 2013 I learned, through contact with my biological mother's family, that not only was this abortion forced upon her against her will at the age of 19, but also that it was my grandmother -- my maternal grandmother, a nurse -- who delivered me in this final step of the abortion procedure at St. Luke's Hospital in Sioux City, Iowa. Unfortunately, I also learned that when my grandmother realized that the abortion had not succeeded in ending my life, she demanded that I be left to die.
I many never know how exactly two nurses who were on staff that day found out about me, but what I do know is that their willingness to fight for medical care to be provided to me ultimately sustained my life.
And I know where children like me were left to die at St. Luke's Hospital. I met a nurse there who delivered a child much like me in 1976. She delivered a little boy after a failed saline infusion abortion, but she followed her superior's orders and she placed him there in a utility closet in a bucket of formaldehyde to be picked up later as medical waste after he was left there to die alone.
A bucket of formaldehyde in a utility closet was meant to be my fate after I survived that abortion attempt.
I weighed a little less than three pounds when I survived. I suffered from jaundice, severe respiratory problems, and seizures for an extended period of time. And one of the first notations in my medical records by a doctor after I survived is that I looked like I was about 31 weeks gestational age when I was delivered.
Despite the miracle of my survival, the doctor's prognosis for my life was very poor initially. My adoptive parents were told that I would suffer from multiple disabilities throughout my life, yet here I am today, perfectly healthy. Yet I know it isn't just how abortion ends the life of children like me that isn't talked about in today's world. It's also not discussed what happens to children like me who live.
I can tell you we are your friend, your neighbor, your coworker, and you would likely never guess by passing us on the street that we survived what we did. In my work as the founder of the Abortion Survivor's Network I have had contact with 203 of these other survivors. Letters from some of those survivors have been submitted to this committee.
I'm here today to share my story to not only highlight the horror of abortion taking place at Planned Parenthood, but to give a voice to other survivors like me and, most importantly, to give a name, a face, and a voice to the hundreds of thousands of children who will have their lives ended by Planned Parenthood this year alone.
As you consider the horrors of what happens at Planned Parenthood each day, I would urge you to remember my story and Gianna's, too. We may not have survived abortions at Planned Parenthood, but the expectation for our lives to be ended by abortion are the very same as those who do lose their lives there.
And I have long believed that if my birth mother's abortion would have taken place at a Planned Parenthood I would not be here today. Completing over 300,000 abortions a year provides them with the experience to make sure that failures like me don't exist.
As a fellow American and as a fellow human being, I deserve the same right to life, the same equal protection under the law as each and every one of you. Yet, we live in a time where not only do such protections not exist, but my own tax dollars and yours go to fund an organization that has perfected the very thing that was meant to end my life, and this must end.