By DEXTER DUGGAN
You Carried Me: A Daughter’s Memoir, by Melissa Ohden, Plough Publishing House, www.plough.com, Walden, N.Y., ISBN 978-0-87486-788-6, 179 pages hardback, $19.99, 2017.
Raised in rural Iowa, 19-year-old Melissa Cross goes off to college in neighboring South Dakota in 1996, firmly in favor of women’s rights and admiring First Lady Hillary Clinton’s “unapologetic feminism.”
Finances were tight at her family, so after earning money baby-sitting, she’d starting busing tables at a restaurant at age 13. Television news told about women being raped and otherwise victimized. Melissa was appalled by domestic violence and aspired to “change the world from the top down” by working in politics or the law in Washington, D.C. But first she needed her degree.
The intense early days at the University of South Dakota had secrets shared between total strangers who soon became intimate friends. But adoptee Melissa had one secret in her life that didn’t fit into new students’ “conversations about every kind of abuse, abandonment, and human heartache.”
She was born while surviving a permissive saline abortion in 1977 at a Sioux City hospital.
Melissa learned this heartbreaking fact at age 14 after previously believing her birth mother heroically gave her up to a family who was in a better position to raise her. The revelation sent the young teenager into a tailspin, but she came to cope with it. She saw 14-year-old southern California saline-abortion survivor Gianna Jessen on television saying she was happy to be alive.
But even on a South Dakota campus, mass communications long since had made Northeastern Seaboard liberalism the currency of the culture.
Although Melissa “considered myself an ardent supporter of women’s rights,” she “learned quickly that my story was one that could not be heard, and therefore must not be told. Abortion on demand was the Holy Grail of the feminist ideology my classmates adhered to; anything that challenged its essential rightness must be suppressed.”
The “icy chill” she encountered “hurt me in a very deep place.” Melissa went through the motions for the semester, but as soon as finals were over in December, she left that university, her hope for a career in politics killed by political correctness — “my early idealism and passion had given way to indifference.”
Years later, Melissa was to learn that her birth mother had attended the same school, and that the woman who insisted that Melissa be aborted in 1977 was a professor at the College of Nursing while Melissa was there. “Did we ever cross paths and unwittingly look each other in the eye?”
Melissa went back home and enrolled at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. She started working at a domestic-violence shelter but encountered so much pain among its clients that she decided to take undergraduate courses in psychology to increase her understanding, intending to apply to a graduate program.
We see that rural Iowa suffers from the same malign serpent as the Garden of Eden, and in big-city ghettoes.
One weekend when she was working the shelter’s crisis hotline, she received a hysterical call from the mother of two cute little boys Melissa met through the shelter. The boys were dead, killed in a suspicious accident involving their father.
After the call, “I collapsed . . . in tears of impotent rage. Why is there so much evil in the world?”
By now she no longer is a wide-eyed young student, so let’s start calling Melissa by her eventual last name, Ohden.
Determined to expand her abilities, Ohden looked forward to earning a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. She enrolled in a class with “a brilliant senior faculty member” she respected and hoped could advise her on her career plans.
He assigned his students to write a paper on a pivotal life experience of theirs. Ohden poured herself into her only possible choice, being an abortion survivor. Systematically putting it unflinchingly on paper, “It was the first time I’d shared this critical part of my life with anyone trained in psychology.”
She received an A for technical analysis, but “harsh” comments in the margin. “This must be a lie,” the professor wrote. “Why would your parents tell you such an awful thing?”
Ohden was astounded. She was being silenced again, being struck down as she had been at the previous university. Now she could see the reason clearly: The professor “simply could not reconcile his support for abortion with the existence of a living, breathing survivor.”
This brought Ohden to a new pivotal moment. She either could lie down and acquiesce in being silenced, “or confront it. I chose to stand tall. I wanted to force people to face the contradiction that my existence posed to their ideology.”
Thus began the mission of her life.
As she began speaking out about being a survivor, each time she “met people who had been directly hurt by abortion and who suffered in silence. I knew how it felt to be marginalized and stifled and disbelieved. . . . I felt increasingly called to be a voice not for myself, but for others.”
Why is it that the dominantly liberal media go out of their way to ignore, scorn, mock, or demonize pro-lifers, who only ask for tens of millions of innocent babies and moms to be spared? Because “progressives” who consider themselves the leading shining moral lights and champions of compassion can’t deal with confronting the facts of their deep complicity in painfully executing millions of helpless human infants.
They hopped on the back of the tiger when it was a beguiling cub; now they dare not climb down and expose themselves to its fangs and claws, but let it rip and slash everyone in its path.
Former Virginia abortion clinic head nurse Joan Appleton went through mental agonies when she finally realized she was doing severe damage to women she only had intended to help. But Appleton made herself confront facts instead of hiding from them as today’s dishonest media wizards insist on doing.
It’s up to God to judge motivations, sincerity, and intentions, and I have my sins to be judged on, as everyone else does. I just know I wouldn’t want to be in the sandals of the proud, propagandistic pharisees at The New York Times who literally have spent decades publishing the liberal news “bible” that adores massive abortion and has shoved whole societies down into this hell.
Sparing people from difficulties in life, even minor ones, is one reason that pro-abortionists give in their own defense, but Ohden’s book reminds us that life on this Earth isn’t guaranteed to be an endless Hawaiian vacation. However, the solution mustn’t be either the eugenicists’ or the genocidal.
We’re made to face up as best we can to current difficulties, looking for the eventual justice and reward that only God can give.
And if one doesn’t believe in God, how can that person then justify destroying the only life that he thinks an innocent baby ever will receive?
Ohden’s adoptive parents already had taken one little girl into their home when they added Melissa. The parents, who hadn’t been able to conceive their own offspring, cried when their farm was auctioned off. They had to work harder to support the family they acquired.
Melissa, as noted, was having to earn money even before she turned 13. In her own future marriage, she was to lose a little boy to miscarriage and give birth to a second daughter, who began her life outside the womb with serious health issues. Ohden eventually became Catholic.
And after years of inquiry, she learned that her birth mother was forced into the abortion that Ohden survived. Indeed, the teenager tried to run out of the hospital after the abortion began, but a nurse stopped her and said it was too late.
The mother of the birth mother — Ohden’s grandmother, a nurse — had determined that her unmarried daughter was pregnant. The daughter herself hadn’t realized this yet, Ohden writes, but was ordered immediately to break up with her fiancé and to sell the engagement ring she wore to help pay for the saline abortion that rapidly was arranged.
The birth mother didn’t know her baby survived. Indeed, the grandmother was in the hospital room when the infant emerged, and demanded that she be left to die, but other nurses defied her and rushed Melissa to newborn intensive care.
Ohden struggled with what she was learning about her tragic arrival, when her birth mother told her “to keep speaking. You are the first person to ever fight for me.”
“I can’t begin to express how much those words meant,” Ohden writes of her mission to bring the facts before the public. “My mother knew I cared. We were on the same side. Through me, her story could be told.”
Contrary to some people’s belief that abortion is just a private act without lasting effect, Ohden concludes, “They are so wrong! Abortion can’t be compartmentalized and is never forgotten. And its effects ripple through generations.”
Prime evidence of which is the infants born to people who weren’t aborted. Unlike Ohden, aborted babies usually bear no future children. Which population controllers and eugenicists count as another triumph as they dig the graves of their own souls.