Saline Abortion Survivor
Founder of Abortion Survivors Network
Melissa is the survivor of a failed saline infusion abortion in 1977. Despite the initial concerns regarding Melissa’s future after surviving the attempt to end her life at approximately seven months gestation, she has not only survived but thrived. With a Master’s Degree in Social Work, she has worked in the fields of substance abuse, mental health, domestic violence and sexual assault counseling, and child welfare.
Melissa was formerly a College Outreach Speaker with Feminists for Life and is the former Patron of Real Choices Australia. She has testified in the Australian Parliament and before the U.S. Congress. Melissa is on the Board of Directors for the Vitae Foundation, a national organization which uses media to advance a culture of life.
In 2012, Melissa founded The Abortion Survivors Network (ASN). ASN seeks to educate the public about failed abortions and survivors while providing emotional, mental and spiritual support to abortion survivors. Since ASN’s inception, Melissa has been in contact with over 206 survivors.
Melissa has been featured on television and radio programs including: The 700 Club, EWTN’s Life on the Rock and Defending Life, Fox News, Focus on the Family, American Family Radio, the Mike Huckabee show, and the Teresa Tomeo show. Her life and ministry is featured in the award winning pro-life documentary, A Voice for Life.
After years of searching for her biological family and offering them forgiveness for the decision that was made to end her life, Melissa’s story, and her life, is so much more than one of survival. It’s evidence of the intergenerational impact of abortion on all of our lives. More importantly, it’s a testament to the beauty of God’s grace in our lives, the power of love, and the transformational power of forgiveness and in answering God’s call for your life,
Fulfilling the purpose that she believes God set out for her when He saved her from the certain death of the abortion attempt, Melissa is truly a voice for the voiceless.
“Melissa is a passionate and engaging speaker and was just what we needed to convey our Clinic's message of hope to our donors. She is able to use her personal story as a powerful pro-life message. Further, our donors commented on her openness and willingness to personally connect with them both before and after the event. One thing is for certain, next year's speaker has some HUGE shoes to fill!”
-Gina Smeal, Pregnancy Aid Clinic
"Melissa was absolutely fabulous! Friendly, real, available, and her presentation was top-notch. We've always had very good speakers each year, but this year we heard many say that she was the best yet. We are seeing more volunteers come forward as a result of the banquet this year.We would highly recommend Melissa as a speaker."
-Phyllis Avritt, Fayette Pregnancy Resource Center
What a joy it was to have Melissa Ohden as our guest speaker. Everyone loved her – we received not even one negative comment. Melissa’s testimony is so moving and very educational too. Many of our banquet attendees commented that they were not aware that there were people who had survived an abortion attempt on their lives. Her “ask” was spot on! I would highly recommend Melissa to anyone looking for a powerful banquet speaker.
-Ducia Hamm, Ashland Care Center
"The way she communicated to a large crowd was like a one on one conversation at home. Melissa interwove the ministry of the Pregnancy Care Center into her message. She became a part of the team and lifted up the center before guests. It was an excellent, God-honoring message. I don't know how anyone could do better."
-Don Hughes, Pregnancy Care Center
"I gladly and enthusiastically recommend Melissa Ohden to other pregnancy centers across the nation. Melissa did a great job in offering a very polished delivery of her remarkable story and life. I especially appreciated our communication before the event which gave me the opportunity to share with her the vision and mission of our organization which is in a university setting. Throughout her presentation, she consistently referred to and affirmed our mission to offer women innovative solutions to unplanned pregnancies. The end result was a [significant] bump in net proceeds."
-Brian Lowe, Hope Pregnancy Resource Center
"Melissa is one of my favorite pro-life speakers. She left the teens spellbound."
-Joleigh Little, Region Coordinator, Director Wisconsin Teens for Life