In Psalm 139:13, Scripture says, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.”
This is such a beautiful reminder that God is the Creator of human life. This verse brings comfort to me, an image bearer of God and also a survivor of an attempted abortion.
Abortion After Birth
The “issue” of abortion is very personal to those who survive this intentional act. The debate for after-birth abortion continues today. Surviving an abortion denies the abortion industry’s statements that the unborn are not human beings. Abortion survivors live in a world that visibly celebrates the act that was used to bring death to our lives. Indeed, the world can seem dangerous and loveless to an abortion survivor.
Melissa Ohden and Clair Culwell, two abortion survivors, share their personal stories.
My story began when I was 12-14 weeks gestation. An evil intruder assaulted the safety of my mother’s womb by her own invitation, with my death as its goal.
Why would she do this? Mom became a widow, pregnant with her 5th child. Overcome by grief, she made a decision to end the life within her. She found an abortionist who performed a D&C abortion procedure. Perhaps she anticipated relief from her grief. The intruder came and destroyed the life of my twin that day. Tucked under an unseen Hand, I was saved and six months later entered the world. Little did I know what hardship also lay ahead for me outside the womb.
Can a Baby Survive an Abortion?
Abortion is traumatic in every context. I can testify to this with my lived experience. The trauma caused by this abortion attempt had a severe impact on me. I withdrew as a child in my own suffering, a response to emotional neglect. I was not aware of my own value in this world.
My mom kept this alienating secret to herself for 19 years. We were walking together one day and suddenly she turned to me and said, “by the way, I tried to have you aborted”. Confessing this was a relief for her, but for me this news explained why I had always felt degraded and invisible. At least that is understood now. There was no further talk that day. Those conversations would come many years later.
Why did she choose that moment to tell me? She most likely felt safe. Revealing her secret happened four months after my first abortion. Surrounded by sexual “freedom” messages in the late 1960s and I began to sexualize my emotional needs for love. Naturally, I became pregnant, so I told my mother. She and my father decided to be “rid” of “it,” and I complied. Human life ended that day. The trauma of my abortion was piled onto that of my abortion survival from 19 years earlier. The generational curse of abortion lived on; only this time, the death goal won.
Swirling downward, I wasn’t making better decisions. I got pregnant again. He took charge of the decision this time and said, “It wasn’t the right time.” A second human life was ended. Now fully captive to the curse of abortion, I took a job working in an abortion clinic, believing I could comfort other women.
During my tenure there, over 7,000 human lives were terminated. This dark experience added more pain to the trauma and my heavy burden.
My life up to this point had been held captive to the selfishness of living far away from God and experiencing first-hand the horror of abortion. I was blind to the truth of my humanity and the humanity of all the unborn children, including my own!
Life Changed: Abortion After Birth Survivor
God began to get my attention after he prevented my death in a very bad car accident. Unconscious on the floor of the car, He sent an angelic messenger to touch my heart. “You’re going to be Okay” he said. It took a dramatic intervention by God to get my attention! During recovery, I was discontent with my life, and a longing for truth and reality drove me.
My search took me from San Francisco to remote Alaska to work. I finally left the job at the abortion clinic. In Alaska, I had Christian friends for the first time. But my behavior had not changed and so I was pregnant again. While others encouraged another abortion, I defiantly said NO!
Four months after my son was born, I finally recognized my deep need for God’s forgiveness, so I repented and asked Jesus Christ to help me. He had his eye on me all these years, and at last, I met the eternal Love and acceptance provided through Christ that I had always longed for. The curse of abortion that enslaved me was eternally broken! Hallelujah!
God Saved Me in the Womb
As I grew in Christ, I became aware that the same God that saved me in my mother’s womb drew me to Himself and saved me again 31 years later! I was a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), a human being made in His image. Forgiven and set free from the curse of abortion.
Since that time, forgiveness, healing and restoration have been my constant companions. Healing is a process, but God is patient and helps us to see the blind spots.
I continue to work through forgiveness for my mother. God’s mercy for us both has helped me realize the truth that I was not born for her but for Him.
The trauma and spiritual darkness from every abortion experience I had caused me to never know the value of my own humanity. This blinded me to the truth that a human life is ended by abortion. This is verified by my own actions, my mother’s and the thousands of unborn lives that were ended in the abortion clinic. Living through all this has been a heavy burden for me to carry. It is encouraging that Christ is my burden-bearer and wants me to continue to trust in His plan.
I’ve sought forgiveness for not being a stronger voice to fight for my baby’s lives. The Lord Jesus’ words provide comfort in Luke 23:34, which states, “Forgive them, as they know not what they do.”
Struggling with feelings of being alone in my story, I am not! It turns out there are thousands of abortion survivors out there, each with their own story. I discovered Melissa Ohden and The Abortion Survivors Network (ASN) in 2018 on the web. I feel daily gratitude to find this loving community of abortion survivors. The understanding, healing, and shared justification of our humanity is life-giving.
Over 600 others have connected with ASN in the US and globally. Recently ASN published research that estimates that 1,734 babies survive abortion each year in the U.S. alone. You can find this data on the ASN website. ASN has offered love and acceptance when perhaps little was truly felt. There is opportunity, if desired, to minister truth to others and be trained to tell your story.
These past few years, I’ve been blessed to proclaim with conviction when asked: Can A Baby Survive an Abortion? I did, and here is my story!