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Melissa Ohden’s mom on moment she discovered her daughter had survived 

The mother of an abortion survivor has spoken about the moment she discovered her daughter was alive, 36 years after her own mother – a nurse – had performed the botched operation on her. 

More than three decades earlier, in 1977, Missy Ohden, 42, from Missouri, was fighting for her life in a hospital in Iowa after being born at 2Ib 14oz and discarded as toxic waste.

Her mother, who has now been revealed as Ruth, had been forced to have an abortion by her mother, a nurse at the hospital, and had left the hospital believing the toxic saline solution she’d been given over a five-day period when she was eight months pregnant had aborted her child.

However a nurse had heard her ‘weak cries’ and rescued her from the waste bin, and despite the supervisor on shift – Missy’s grandmother – advising her to ‘leave the baby in the room to die’, Missy had survived and quickly been adopted.

And now Missy’s biological mother has revealed the shock she felt to The Sun after being reunited with her daughter, who had searched for her for two decades after learning she was unaware of her existence.  

In 1977, Missy Ohden, 42, from Missouri, seen now, was left fighting for her life in a hospital in Iowa after being born at 2Ib 14oz and discarded as toxic waste

Her mother, who has now been revealed as Ruth, was forced to have an abortion by her mom, a nurse at the hospital, and had left the hospital believing the toxic saline solution she'd been given over a five-day period when she was eight months pregnant had aborted her child

Her mother, who has now been revealed as Ruth, was forced to have an abortion by her mom, a nurse at the hospital, and had left the hospital believing the toxic saline solution she’d been given over a five-day period when she was eight months pregnant had aborted her child

Ruth, who became estranged from her own parents after they told her to have the abortion, said: ‘The day I heard that Melissa had survived the abortion my mother had performed on me was a Sunday in August 2007. 

‘My twin sister Mary called in the afternoon. I could tell it was going to be a serious conversation, so I went to the bedroom. Mary told me that the child I had was alive. My first thought was: what a cruel joke to play on your twin sister.’

Ruth and Missy now share a close relationship, and she added: ‘One of the best aspects of getting to know Melissa is discovering all the things we have in common.

‘Comparing physical similarities was fun the first day we met – Melissa inherited some striking and beautiful features from her biological father, but I think we have the same nose and a similar shape to our smiles.’

A nurse had heard her 'weak cries' and rescued her from the waste bin, and despite the supervisor on shift - Missy's grandmother - advising her to ‘leave the baby in the room to die’, Missy had survived and quickly been adopted (Missy seen after birth)

A nurse had heard her ‘weak cries’ and rescued her from the waste bin, and despite the supervisor on shift – Missy’s grandmother – advising her to ‘leave the baby in the room to die’, Missy had survived and quickly been adopted (Missy seen after birth)

Missy's biological mother was stunned after being reunited with her daughter, who had searched for her for two decades after learning she was unaware of her existence

Missy’s biological mother was stunned after being reunited with her daughter, who had searched for her for two decades after learning she was unaware of her existence

After Melissa learnt about her traumatic start in life from her adopted sister as a teenager, she spent nearly two decades searching for answers and would discover her guilt-ridden birth mother had not wanted to have the termination. 

Melissa – who was adopted by a loving family and reunited with her birth mother in 2016 after a 17-year search – says she’s found it in her heart to forgive.

Speaking to the MailOnline previously, she said: ‘I discovered that my birth mother, aged 19, had been forced into the abortion by her own mother, who was an educational nurse at the hospital,’ said the 40-year-old from Kansas City, Missouri, who has written a memoir about her life.

‘She was heavily sedated and didn’t know that I had been born alive. It would be 30 odd years before she learned the truth.

‘It’s been a long and painful journey from shame and anger to faith and forgiveness. But I refuse to be poisoned by bitterness – that’s no way to live.’

Melissa – who was adopted by a loving family and reunited with her birth mother in 2016 after a 17-year search – says she’s found it in her heart to forgive (seen as a teen)

Melissa – who was adopted by a loving family and reunited with her birth mother in 2016 after a 17-year search – says she’s found it in her heart to forgive (seen as a teen)

Melissa had spent much of her teenage years ‘in great emotional pain’, developing bulimia and turning to sex and alcohol after thinking she was 'unwanted'

Melissa had spent much of her teenage years ‘in great emotional pain’, developing bulimia and turning to sex and alcohol after thinking she was ‘unwanted’

Melissa had spent much of her teenage years ‘in great emotional pain’, developing bulimia and turning to sex and alcohol after thinking she was ‘unwanted’. 

However she eventually headed off to the University of South Dakota to study political science.

She would later learn that her biological mother had attended there as well.

And astonishingly, her maternal grandmother – the very woman who orchestrated the abortion – was a professor at the university during the time Melissa was there.

At 19, the desire to know more about her background eat away at her and she began her search to find her birth family.

After a career in social work, Melissa is now a motivational speaker as well as an author

After a career in social work, Melissa is now a motivational speaker as well as an author

After going through archives she eventually found her grandparents and sent them a letter, but only her grandfather wrote back, telling her they were estranged from her mother.

Melissa gave up her hunt for a while. By then she was married to IT worker Ryan, now 44, with whom she has two daughters, Olivia, 11, and Ava, five. Her oldest was born at the same hospital where she survived the abortion.

Then, when she was 36, her biological mother’s cousin emailed her after learning she’d been in touch with the family.

She was told that her parents were college students – childhood sweethearts – who were engaged to be married when she was conceived.

Finally, after 17 years of searching, the cousin put Melissa in touch with her mother, and the pair have been close friends ever since. 

After a career in social work, Melissa is now a motivational speaker as well as an author, and she founded the Abortion Survivors Network to support others in the same position.

You Carried Me: A Daughter’s Memoir Priced is published by Plough Publishing House and is priced at $13.59 (£6.59)

Melissa  is now married to IT worker Ryan, now 44, with whom she has two daughters, Olivia, 11, and Ava, five

Melissa  is now married to IT worker Ryan, now 44, with whom she has two daughters, Olivia, 11, and Ava, five

What is a saline abortion? 

Terminations carried out using saline are a type of ‘instillation abortion’, and are now rarely used due to their high failure rate.

This is a method performed by injecting a solution into the uterus during late term pregnancies.

Chemical solutions used can be either saline, urea, or prostaglandin, delivered through the abdomen and into the amniotic sac. This induces contractions that expel the fetus.

Once common practice, abortion by intrauterine instillation has declined dramatically in recent years due to reports of serious adverse effects.

Intrauterine instillation (of all kinds) declined from 10.4% of all legal US abortions in 1972 to 0.1% by 2007.

The rate of mortality reported in the States from 1972-1981 was 9.6 per 100,000 for instillation methods. This is in comparison to rates of 4.9 per 100,000 for dilation and curettage.



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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