I was born rejected and it’s a constant source of anguish for me. But it’s not just me. I’m not alone in surviving an abortion. I don’t know how many of us exist but I’ve personally been contacted by 360 men, women, and children whose lives were nearly ended because an abortion doctor failed to do his or her job correctly. I want us to be noticed, to be recognized and more than anything, at this moment, I want to say to Senator Kamala Harris: “look at me, I exist. Look. At. Me.”
The Center for Disease Control issued a report that from 2003-2014, 143 babies were born alive after a failed abortion. They estimate that number is underestimated since no federal abortion reporting laws exist. Eight states currently require data to be collected on this type of gruesome procedure, yet since 2011, only five states have done so. And the numbers are staggering: in these five states - Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, and Minnesota - at least 179 babies survived an abortion.
What is happening to these infants? Either the abortion decides to give care or he/she doesn’t. If Senator Harris has her way, every one of those babies would be left to die.
According to national polling, it’s possible that Senator Harris could become the next Vice President. And that scenario is terrifying for me and for the hundreds (at least) of other survivors of abortion that I personally know about. Why? Because Senator Harris has voted to deny medical help for those of us who survived failed abortions when she voted against the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Act.
By her vote, she told us survivors that we aren’t worth saving. That we are supposed to be dead anyways so why not just let us die. That no one wants us alive, that we would be better off dead, sometimes even left alone to cry and die.
We are used to rejection. After all, we came into the world unwanted and were not a welcome sight for anyone. But Senator Harris and her running mate are so deliberate in their calculations against innocent victims that it is spine-chilling.
Almost twenty years ago a nurse, Jill Stanek, in Chicago went public with her sorrowful story about how a baby was born alive after a failed abortion at the hospital where she worked as a Labor and Delivery Nurse. The abortion doctor refused to provide the infant with any medical care and it started crying. Jill held that baby until it died. She also found out that this failed abortion was not a one-time thing. The hospital refused to change its practices and would not give care to infants born alive after an abortion.
Even in the most hardened of hearts, wouldn’t a human being have compassion for the infant here? Wouldn’t they want to at least wrap that child in a warm blanket and try to give him the best care possible? Apparently it’s only the wanted babies who are born early get that kind of care, not the ones that Senator Harris is fine with throwing in the trash like they should have been in the first place.
The incinerator, the trash - that’s where Senator Harris says people like me belong.
Surviving an abortion is hard to believe and maybe that is why people like me don’t often get heard. How does one even survive a dismemberment abortion? Ask Nik Hoot, who was born alive at 24 weeks after a failed dismemberment abortion. How does one survive a surgical abortion? Ask Claire Culwell, whose twin was decapitated in utero but the doctor somehow missed killing her.
The horrific story of Kermit Gosnell in Pennsylvania sheds light on babies who survive abortion but are then finished off by the incompetent abortion doctor. The story is a gruesome one, and the details will be spared here, but Gosnell currently sits in prison for his killing of babies born alive after abortions in his clinic. The abortion industry says that Gosnell was an anomaly, that his clinic was a one-off. But the thing is, the abortion industry knew what was happening inside his clinic, as evidenced by the Grand Jury report, and did nothing. Gosnell has applied to the National Abortion Federation to be a provider under their organization and his clinic was inspected. The inspector saw what was going on and her report noted it was the worst clinic she had ever been to. But NAF told no one. Women died at Gosnell’s hands and the abortion industry did nothing.
Like millions of others, I can’t wait for this election to be over. But I don’t want to wake up next Wednesday morning and be forced to face a newly elected President and Vice President who are so careless with human life.
So Senator Harris, look at me, look at more than 350 of us who survived abortion and the countless more whose parents haven't told them the truth of their birth. We are all human beings, just like you. We are just as important as those babies who are born prematurely and get the medical care they need. And we want to be heard.
Melissa Ohden is founder of the Abortion Survivors Network, a healing and advocacy organization for abortion survivors, founded and led by abortion survivors.She has helped more than 360 survivors of abortion.