Melissa is a sought after speaker, author and advocate. Her experience of surviving a saline infusion abortion and being united with many members of her biological family initially led her to this life's work, but connecting with other abortion survivors, mothers, and families impacted by failed, stopped and reversed abortions is what has truly ignited her passion.
Melissa is the author of You Carried Me: A Daughter's Memoir. Her second book, Abortion Survivors Break their Silence, with Cindy Lambert, the best-selling author of Unplanned, will be available from Tyndale on January 9, 2024.
Abortion Survivors Break Their Silence stirs the heart, challenges readers, and humanizes the sanctity of life in concrete and transformational ways that Melissa believes will break the secrets and shame that entrap so many people and so many families, and ultimately lead to compassion and understanding for ALL who have been impacted by abortion and been voiceless for so long.
In addition to her survival experience, Melissa brings a depth of knowledge to her work. She has a Master’s Degree in Social Work, and has worked in the fields of substance abuse, mental health, domestic violence and sexual assault counseling, and child welfare.
She is the Founder and Director of The Abortion Survivors Network, the only support and advocacy organization for abortion survivors and their families world-wide. Melissa and her team have connected with nearly 700 abortion survivors as of October 2023.
Melissa and her husband, Ryan, reside in Kansas City, Missouri with their two daughters, Olivia and Ava.
"Melissa was very professional and easy to work with. She tailored her presentation and the Ask to our specific organization and our needs. The whole event felt personal and our supporters connected her story with our mission."
"Melissa gets better and better at each event and adds more to her life story every time we get to hear her speak! She was a huge hit!"
"This was hands down one of our best speakers. Not only did we raise funds, but God worked in people's hearts that night. The donors are still talking about it!"
"We have been organizing banquets annually since 1986. Melissa was among the best, if not the very best, presentation we have had."
"Melissa was thoroughly delightful. She showed up on time, was accessible to us when we needed her and she was so relatable to our audience. They were riveted by her story and it translated into a significant increase in the average gift per person...She spoke from a healed and restored heart that could only be evident through the knowledge of and presence of a strength much bigger than herself. A loving God who revealed Himself to her and walked with her as she grew."
"Melissa is a treasure and her testimony is absolutely breath-taking and gives all the glory to God with no hint of bitterness. I appreciate her professionalism and her love for the work we do. It absolutely shows through her words."
"Melissa not only communicated her story effectively, she communicated the work of Care Net Pregnancy Center of Albuquerque effectively. I was overwhelmingly appreciative!"
"Melissa was an outstanding keynote speaker for our Annual Fellowship Dinner. We had exclamatory comments about her speech from all of our guests about her incredible journey as an abortion survivor – she is a walking miracle! I was so delighted to get to know her – her heart and love for God in the midst of a very challenging start in life encourages and inspires! I am so thankful for her calling to share her story and to have started the Abortion Survivors Network! What a testimony of faith and love!"
"This unique story of abortion survival that portrayed forgiveness and redemption struck a powerfully responsive chord with our donors. Our dinner guests said Melissa was the best speaker we have had as her story was so unique and personal. Melissa is articulate, honest, and humble and captivates an audience with her miraculous story of survival. God clearly was at work in saving her little life and she is a miraculous testimony of His work."
"Melissa is precious, passionate, powerful, an excellent communicator, and very effective as a speaker for the Pro-Life movement."
“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!”
"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."