NRL News

An even greater appreciation for Mother’s Day

by | May 6, 2020

By Melissa Ohden

Editor’s note. Melissa, a frequent contributor to NRL News Today, survived a saline abortion in 1977. She has shared her story all over the world, including at numerous National Right to Life conventions.

The celebration of Mother’s Day is rife with heart-warming tributes to the women who make our world go around—the mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and mother figures who sacrificially pour into our lives into ours. Here are a few samples.

“What I love about my mom is she’s easy to talk to and she’s funny. I love her.”

“No words can express the gratitude I have for my mom. She’s my best friend, my mom, and my hero. I love the way that at any chance she gets, she will show Jesus’ love.”

“I love how you love us no matter how crazy we get, how you help me with math even when you don’t completely understand, and I love that you do your job in the world even though you never want to leave us.”

“I love that you gave birth to me.” 

Typical, in one sense, but truly special in another. All of these sweet reflections are from the children of abortion survivors. None of them would be here had  their mothers not survived the best attempt of the abortionist to take their lives.

The Abortion Survivors Network is made of people just like this, and many others. From 2012-2020, The Abortion Survivors Network had contact with 316 survivors of abortion or their friends or family who contacted us on their behalf. We know this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to survivors—many don’t ever share their stories with anyone, and, in fact, many probably don’t even know about their survival, as it’s kept a secret. 

As an organization we educate frequently about how abortion affects generations;  how we understand the dynamics that often lead women to abortion. We have found love and forgiveness for our birthparents, clinic workers, even the abortionists themselves. 

Why do we share our stories? To bring hope and healing to all who are impacted by abortion. However, what we don’t often share, because it’s so personal, is what it means for our families to have us in their lives. 

Yes, we are survivors. But that’s not all we are. We are part of a network of people whose lives have been permanently altered by our presence.

Every abortion survivor is someone’s son or daughter and grandchild. They’re likely also a sibling, a cousin, an aunt or an uncle. And many survivors are parents, grandparents and even great-grandparents themselves. In fact, I received a beautiful email earlier this year from the great-great grandchild of a survivor of an at-home attempted abortion. 

This year, as we do every year, we celebrate the women who gave us life, even if that wasn’t their original plan.  The Abortion Survivors Network also celebrates the hundreds of survivors in our Network who are themselves mothers, grandmothers, and mother figures.

Women such as Jennifer Milbourn, pictured here, second from the left. You may recognize her from the “Face the Choice” ad that was unveiled at the March for Life. 

Caption: Jennifer Milbourn, second from the left, with her family.

Jennifer survived her biological mom’s vacuum aspiration abortion. The abortionist couldn’t complete the abortion because Jennifer’s head was too big. In other words, she was much further along gestationally  than what had been expected. 

Jennifer’s son, Gabriel, shared the first loving comment above about her. Daughter, Madalyn, offered the second.

To our movement, survivors offer a sign of hope. Hope that lives are being saved and future generations made possible because of that. Survivors are also a very tangible illustration of the all the unborn we’re fighting to save.

To our families, we’re their greatest supports and encouragers, their place of strength. And from the last two statements included above about their mother (graciously shared by my 12-year-old, Olivia), we’re also steadfast in our commitment to math homework and to making a difference with our lives.

As our world comes out of quarantine, I hope and pray that abortion supporters will have a new appreciation of abortion survivors—that they will see us as ordinary people just as our own children do. 

To all the mothers, grandmothers, and mother figures in our Network, in our movement, Happy Mother’s Day. 

And to my birthmother, Ruth, I echo the sentiments of my Olivia: “I love that you gave birth to me.”

Categories: Abortion Survivor