Abortion Survivor: “Don’t Have a Conversation About Us Without Us”

In the wake of Virginia Governor Northam’s remarks about how to care for a child who survives an attempted abortion – “The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother” – President Trump invited abortion survivors to the White House on February 14 to tell him their own stories. Among the survivors was Melissa Ohden, whose 2017 book You Carried Me is an account of her remarkable life, a life she knows wasn’t supposed to happen.

Official White House photo of President Donald Trump with Melissa Ohden, 2/14/19.
President Donald Trump with Melissa Ohden. Official White House photo.

Call the White House visit a photo op or partisan posturing if you want. I call it it pushing back on infanticide.

When a child makes it out of the mother’s womb despite the best efforts of an abortionist, does that child have a right – an independent right, not contingent on the mother’s or doctor’s wishes – to be protected and nurtured? Not according to Gov. Northam, among others. On February 14, President Trump lent his bully pulpit to a group of people whose message is very different from the Governor’s.

President Trump welcomed the abortion survivors a few days after the U.S. Senate failed to advance a Born-Alive Infants Protection Act. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) blocked a unanimous consent resolution on the Act. She later tweeted “I’m continuing to stand strong with women, their doctors, and the medical community against the Senate Republicans’ shameless attacks on women’s health and reproductive rights.” No mention of whether that was an evergreen tweet of hers or one referring directly to the born-alive bill.

Let Sen. Murray and her colleagues try standing strong with Ms. Ohden.

From Ms. Ohden via Facebook:

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. It seems like the world is having a conversation about abortion, children surviving abortions, and they don’t realize or acknowledge that there are a group of people who know all too well what everyone is talking about. 

Don’t have a conversation about abortion without those who have survived it. Don’t have a conversation about us, without us. 

Listen to our voices. Share our stories. We’re not hypothetical cases. We’re human beings.

We live in a time when abortion defenders are prepared to oppose policies mandating care for children who survive abortion. I’ve watched legislators in my own state defeat bills that include born-alive protections. The word infanticide may still have an unsavory odor, but the act itself is in danger of being sanitized as a “reproductive right.”

Wherever that happens, remember what Melissa Ohden says: Listen to our voices.

Head over to my blog Leaven for the Loaf for a link to Congressional testimony by survivors of the “dreaded complication.”

Ellen Kolb
Ellen Kolb

Ellen Kolb writes about the life issues at Leaven for the Loaf and EllenKolb.com.

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