Little girl born alive after attempted late-term abortion, lives for five years

LifeNews told the story of little Sarah, a child who was born alive after an attempted late-term abortion:

“In July of 1993, a 15-year old mother was brought to Women’s Health Care Services to abort her little girl in the late stages of pregnancy. In fact, so far advanced was the pregnancy that the baby was already in position for delivery.

Not having yet perfected his induction method of abortion, according to accounts, Tiller “injected the baby’s head, in two places, the left side of her forehead above the eyebrow and at the base of the skull, with Potassium Chloride, leaving permanent burn marks and needle track scars.”

When the young mother returned the next day for the actual abortion procedure, it was found that the baby had not died, as intended, from the lethal injections into her head. The mother was sent to a local hospital where the baby was delivered, wrapped in a blanket, and left in a bassinet without attendance to die.

Amazingly, after 24 hours, the child continued to live in spite of the fact that she had not been cleaned up, her umbilical cord was still attached and she had received no hydration or nourishment. A nurse took pity on the baby and contacted an attorney, who in turn contacted a loving family that adopted the little girl, whom they named Sarah.

Although doctors said Sarah would not survive eight weeks, under the loving care of her new family she lived for five years. Tiller’s attack on Sarah impaired her growth and left her brain damaged, blind, and unable to walk. Nevertheless, her family members never viewed her as a burden and were blessed to be a part of her short life.

It was noted at her memorial service that Tiller succeeded in killing little Sarah, but it took him five years to do it.”

CHERYL SULLENGER “Baby Died Five Years After Botched Abortion, Injections in Her Head Failed” LifeNews JUL 2, 2013

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Abortion survivor Melissa Ohden tells her story

In a letter to Rep. Trent Franks, Melissa Ohden tells her story:

“In August 1977, my biological mother, a 19-year-old college student, was forced to undergo a saline infusion abortion. My medical records from St. Luke’s Hospital in Sioux City, Iowa, indicate that she was believed to be approximately 20 weeks pregnant with me at that time. They state that “a saline infusion for an abortion was done, but was unsuccessful.” Those same records then proceed to later identify a complication of her pregnancy as “saline infusion.”

A saline infusion abortion involves injecting a toxic salt solution into the amniotic fluid surrounding the preborn child in the womb. The intent of that toxic salt solution is to slowly scald the child to death, from the outside in… This abortion procedure typically lasted about three days – 72 hours. The child soaked in that toxic salt solution until their life was effectively ended and then premature labor was induced with the intent of that deceased child being delivered.

In my own case, I didn’t soak in that toxic salt solution for just three days. My medical records indicate that I soaked in it for five. For five days, I soaked in that toxic salt solution while multiple attempts were made to induce my biological mother’s labor with me to expel my dead body. Finally, on the fifth day of the abortion procedure, her labor was successfully induced. I should have been delivered dead that day as a “successful” abortion, a deceased child. But by the grace of God, I was born alive.

I can’t even begin to imagine the horrible pain and suffering that I experienced during those five days of the abortion procedure and in the days and weeks that followed. Abortion doesn’t spare a child from suffering, it causes suffering.

I weighed a little less than three pounds (two pounds, 14 ounces). When I was delivered at St. Luke’s hospital in Sioux City, Iowa, in that final step of the abortion procedure, which indicated to the medical professionals that my birth mother was much further along in her pregnancy than she had realized and the abortionist failed to admit to. In fact, one of the first notations on my medical records states that I looked like I was about 31 weeks gestational age when I survived. Sadly, whether I was 31 weeks or 20 weeks, what happened to me was permitted by federal law.

The fight for my life was far from over after I was delivered in this failed abortion.

In 2013, I learned through contact with my biological mother’s family (who I am incredibly thankful to have in my life, along with members of my biological father’s family) that not only was this abortion forced upon her against her will, but also that it was my maternal grandmother, a nurse, who delivered me in this final step of the abortion procedure.

Unfortunately, I also learned that when my grandmother realized that the abortion had not succeeded in ending my life, she demanded that I be left to die.

I may never know how, exactly, two nurses who were on staff that day found out about me (one of whom has had their story passed down to my adoptive parents) or where they found me, but what I do know is that their willingness to fight for medical care to be provided to me saved my life.

I know where children like me were left to die at St. Luke’s hospital – a utility closet. In 2014, I met a nurse who assisted in a saline infusion abortion there in 1976, and delivered a living baby boy. After he was delivered alive, she followed her superior’s orders and placed him in the utility closet in a bucket of formaldehyde to be picked up later as medical waste after he died there, alone.

A bucket of formaldehyde in the utility closet was meant to be my fate after I wasn’t first scalded to death through the abortion.

Yet I am alive today because I was ultimately given the medical care that I so desperately needed and deserved.

I am thankful that the abortion meant to end my life actually occurred at a hospital, as the medical treatment that I needed for my severe respiratory and liver problems and seizures – the oxygen, blood transfusions and everything thereafter was located right there.

If my birth mother’s abortion would’ve occurred in an abortion clinic, I truly believe that I would not be alive today. The medical care would have been long in coming to me, if at all.

To say that I am grateful to be alive would be an understatement. No, we may never know if I made it all the way to that utility closet and the bucket of formaldehyde or I was simply laid aside, but the truth about the location of where I was left will never change the truth of the intent of why I was left. I was meant to be killed in the abortion and then when that didn’t succeed, I was left to die.

As a fellow American, as a fellow human being, I deserved the same right to life, the same equal protection under the law as each and every one of you. Yet we know that our great nation falls terribly short when it comes to protecting the most vulnerable of its citizens.

We live in a day and time where the science of human development, the power of ultrasound, and the sheer number of survivors like me (I know of 209 others just like me through my work as the founder of The Abortion Survivors Network although I am sure the actual number is much higher) clearly shows the truth about life. There should no longer be a question of when life begins. There should no longer be the question of which lives, if any, should be protected.”

Melissa Ohden, letter to Chairman Trent Franks and the House of Representatives Constitution Subcommittee Members

Quoted in “The Ultimate Civil Right: Examining the Hyde Amendment and the Born Alive Infants Protection Act” Hearing before the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice of the Committee on the Judiciary House of Representatives 114th Congress, Second Session, September 23, 2016. p 58-59

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Baby who survived abortion suffered developmental delay, intracranial bleeding, hydrocephalus, and disfigurement

The book Lime Five recounts the following malpractice case:

“On July 16, 1985, “Lynette” underwent an abortion at a Planned Parenthood facility in Michigan. Prior to the abortion, no ultrasound was performed to determine the gestational age of the fetus. Dr. X ruptured the amniotic sac, then referred Lynette to a hospital where, five days later, she gave birth to a two pound, three and a half ounce premature infant boy. Because of the botched abortion attempt, the baby suffered developmental delay, intracranial bleeding, hydrocephalus, and disfigurement.”

Washtenaw County (MI) Circuit Court Case No. 85–30344 NM

Mark Crutcher Lime 5: Exploited by Choice (Denton, Texas: Life Dynamics, Inc., 1996) 75

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British woman discovers abortion is killing when her baby survives abortion attempt

A woman named Margaret tells the story of her abortions. and how her daughter was born:

“The first time I was 26 and involved with a married colleague, and after three months I found out that I was pregnant.

At first I thought I was having a child with the man I loved, but when he came back with the news he was going to get back with his wife, that’s when it changed from being a baby to a problem.

I didn’t think I could cope. There were emotional influences, being ashamed, telling my parents that I was pregnant, and having to leave work.

I was feeling fear and panic. I was reacting to a crisis and I had never had a crisis like that in my life.

My life was out of control and I wanted to get back to normal.

I went to the British Pregnancy Advice Service for counselling. I asked if at ten weeks it was a baby and they said, ‘No, it’s just cells.”

Preborn baby at 9-10 weeks
Preborn baby at 9-10 weeks

I felt like it wasn’t a baby and that was my get-out clause; I wasn’t doing anything wrong.

Afterwards I was emotionally numb and although I didn’t have an emotional breakdown, I became anorexic. I was promiscuous for some time. But at the time I didn’t think it had anything to do with the abortion.

But nine years later there was an almost repeat – I met a guy at work and I didn’t know he was married.

The second time we went out we had intercourse and I took the risk of unprotected sex as I thought as an older woman I couldn’t possibly become pregnant.

But I did. Two weeks later I realised and had that same feeling of panic, I couldn’t believe I was back in this crisis.

I had an abortion, but ten weeks later my period hadn’t come back, I went back to the doctor who said I was still pregnant.

They sent me for a scan and that is when my denial ended. When I saw that baby with its heart beating, I knew that nine years ago I had destroyed a baby.

Before my daughter was born four months later I was worried how I would love it, but when she was born the feelings were just amazing.

I realised that I had been reacting out of fear and not really thinking. I was in denial: ‘It wasn’t really a baby but cells.’

Women deserve more than abortion in a crisis. There are other options, why should the death of a baby be the only answer?”

Abortion stories: Relief and regretBBC News 24 October 2007

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Woman is grateful her abortions failed

A woman whose baby survived attempted abortion expressed gratitude for the life of her child. She was still pregnant when she gave the following interview:

“He[Her partner] was away on business and I immediately rang him on his mobile. However, I’d barely told him when he simply put the phone down. It was the worst possible reaction I could have imagined.

Worse was to come – when, a few hours later, he rang me back, he simply told me coldly I should get rid of it and he would pay for the abortion.

I felt totally devastated. It was so unlike him and just beyond explanation……

I hoped he would come round, but every time I spoke to him it was the same – he told me I had to get a termination. He didn’t even come back to the house to get the things he’d left here.

As the weeks went by I realised Jonathan was not the man I thought he was and while I longed for him to walk through the door and say he had changed his mind, he never came back.

When I rang him, his phone became ‘unavailable’. Slowly I realised my perfect gentleman, when faced with the realities of a pregnancy, had bolted…..

I spoke to my GP who referred me to a counsellor. I also rang Life, the anti-abortion organisation …But although the woman from Life tried to point out that my third baby could still have a loving home with its siblings, nothing could convince me not to go ahead with an abortion….

I could see the baby’s heartbeat on the scan,” she says, “and I couldn’t stop crying. Whichever way I turned I felt guilty – guilty if I had a termination, guilty if I brought a baby into the world in such circumstances, and guilty for stupidly getting pregnant in the first place.

I took the first pill in the clinic and was to take a second pill two days later at home. Staff explained I would probably begin to bleed within hours.”

But she threw up the pills and they didn’t work. She was scheduled for a surgical abortion.

“Doctors there said they could suck the foetus out, doing this termination under a general anaesthetic.

Once more I had to steel myself for this ordeal and kept telling myself that it was the right decision. I got ready for the operation, but then went for the scan that they legally must do before going ahead.

14 weeks
14 weeks

This more advanced scan revealed my pregnancy was over the limit of 12 to 13 weeks for the procedure they’d planned. I couldn’t believe it when the doctor broke the news they couldn’t go through with it….

By now I had seen my baby’s arms and legs waving on the scan. My baby was fully formed and even I marvelled at how it had grown so quickly into this perfect little human shape.

The sonographer estimated I may be as much as 14 or 15 weeks pregnant, and it seemed perfectly healthy and looked remarkably happy considering I’d already tried twice to destroy it.

14 weeks
14 weeks

Suddenly it felt as if I would really be killing my baby. …

I went out of the room. ‘I’m sorry,’ I said to the nurse as I walked out of the clinic. ‘I just don’t think I can go through with this.’ It was both the hardest and easiest decision I have ever made in my life.

Overcome with emotion, I came home and wept. I put my hands on my tummy – already I could feel the bump and was overcome with guilt at what I’d tried to do……

I used to think of an unwanted pregnancy as just a bundle of cells that you could get rid of without too much hassle. Now, I feel many women, just like me, do not think deeply enough about what they are doing.

It’s only now, having gone through the process of having a termination, that I realise why you hear all the time about women who – often years later – regret terribly having an abortion.

I just feel incredibly lucky that after everything I’ve done, my baby is still alive and I will not have to live with that regret.”

She refused to have the baby tested for Down syndrome, claiming she would definitely not abort even if the child would be disabled:

Allison Smith-Squire “I tried twice to abort my baby – but I’m delighted I failedDaily Mail July 2, 2007

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Baby survives abortion, is loved by mother

Shannon Skinner had an abortion, but baby Amelia survived. Skinner says:

‘‘I can’t stop cuddling her — I never want to put her down…We call her our miracle baby because we just don’t know how she survived. She must have really wanted to be here.

Watching her sleep, I can’t bear to think of her not existing. For a long time I felt guilty, but now I just feel relief.’

Helen Weathers “The baby who SURVIVED an abortion… and the mother racked by guilt that she may have harmed the tiny child she now adores” Daily Mail 23 May 2014

How many more mothers would have loved their aborted children if they had just waited a little longer?

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Abortion Survivor: Nik Hoot

Nik Hoot


Read about more abortion survivors. 



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Claire Culwell: Abortion survivor










2082649_orig Claire Culwell


Claire Culwell tells her story:

“My birth mother was 13 years old at the time she became pregnant with me. Her mother took her straight to an abortion clinic where she had a surgical abortion. After thinking she had “fixed the problem,” a few weeks later she realized her belly was still growing. Her mother took her back to the abortion clinic where she learned that she had been pregnant with twins…One was aborted; One survived.

My life is a miracle and I would be selfish to keep this GIFT of life to myself. I want to tell everyone what a gift I and even they have been given!! I want to encourage them to seek alternatives to abortion because I would never want any woman/man to go through the grief and the pain that my birth mother went through simply because she didn’t know she had any other option…

My life is a testimony that there are wonderful alternatives to abortion (such as adoption in my case) and an accident/unwanted child still deserves life…even a child with disabilities. I was born 2 1/2 months early, weighed 3 lbs 2 oz, had dislocated hips and club feet. I had to wear casts on my feet, a harness and eventually a body cast. The abortion still affects me today. All that to say, LIFE IS STILL WORTH IT.If my life can touch just one person who has had an abortion or considering an abortion or adoption, then I am fulfilling my purpose in the pro-life movement!

I will not be silent because each mother and child are in the same place my biological mother, my twin and I were in 22 years ago and I am here to say THERE IS HOPE and there are options!”

To learn more about Claire Culwell and her amazing story, visit her site. 

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Abortion Survivor: I Was Born in a Bedpan

An article in HLI reports (the newsletter of Human Life International, a Catholic pro-life group) held a conference for people who survived abortions – not the women – but the babies, who were born after an unsuccessful abortion attempt. Some quotes from the article:

Joshua Vanderveden
Joshua Vanderveden

“We weren’t given alternatives. Nobody offered me any choices,” said Linda Noie whose son Joshua Vandervelden survived her attempt to have him aborted 13 years ago. Linda and Joshua told the media and conference attendees how they now live next door to, and picket at, the abortion mill where Linda underwent an abortion procedure.

Joshua was asked by a reporter what his reaction was to the pro-abortionists’ criticism that he was being exploited. “I’m glad to be alive,” he replied.…

Pat Case of Southern California described how her mother tried three times to abort her. Not aware of this fact, Pat struggled for years with low self-esteem, at one point attempting suicide. During her period of recovery, she learned of her mother’s attempts to abort her – and the reason for her poor self-image.

While it may be a stretch to connect the unknown abortion attempt with Case’s psychological problems, brothers and sisters of aborted babies have reported suffering similar emotional trauma.

Marilyn Miller’s mother tried to abort her in the seventh month of pregnancy, but the attempt failed. “I was born in a bedpan,” she told the Canadian media. Now 43, Marilyn is a behavior modification specialist from Pennsylvania who has two teenage children of her own.…

A favorite of the media and conference goers was Lauren Pulliam, a beautiful, charismatic and highly kinetic 17-month-old charmer from the Houston, Texas area. Lauren’s grandmother, Patricia – a counselor at Birthright – described her daughter Kristin’s abortion procedure after receiving “counseling” at a Planned Parenthood abortuary. When the abortion failed, Christa became fiercely determined to keep her baby.”

Vernon Kirby “Abortion Survivors Take Center Stage” HLI Reports June 1992

There were other abortion survivors from different countries such as Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Columbia.

Read more about survivors of abortion procedures here.


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Baby survives abortion in Arkansas

NRTL tells of an incident in Pine Bluff, Arkansas when an abortion resulted in a live baby:

“In the examining room after the abortion, the doctor wrapped the baby in a towel and laid it aside while he finished caring for Marie. The infant continued to squirm and cry.

Soon afterward, Marie left the doctor’s office for a friend’s house nearby. The physician then placed the child in a sack and gave it to one of the two friends who had accompanied Marie…

In a few minutes, the woman with the sack arrived at the house where Marie was waiting. She said the doctor had told her to “take it along with you and pretty soon it will stop moving.”

After Marie fell asleep, the friends kept their death watch over the aborted infant until they decided to seek help.”

The baby survived.

Mike Masterson, “Baby Survives Abortion in Arkansas.” The National Right to Life News, August 4, 1983, 6

24 week aborted baby- not as lucky
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