Abortion Survivor: Melissa Ohden

Melissa Ohden tells her story of being aborted as a baby and surviving. Look at her and think about all the babies that didnt’ make it.

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Abortion Survivor: Ana Rosa Rodriguez

Ana Rosa Rodriguez was a 32-week-old fetus when her mother, Rosa, went to the New York City abortion chamber of Doctor Abu Hayat, the notorious “Butcher of Avenue A” in 1991.

This was going to be just another of the thousands of routine, late-term abortions performed annually in the state of New York, even though abortions after the 24th week of pregnancy are illegal under that state’s law. According to Rosa, who was then 20 years old, she told Hayat that she had changed her mind and didn’t want to go through with the abortion. “He said that it was impossible to stop, that I had to continue,” she told New York Newsday.

According to Rosa, Hayat’s assistants held her down while he sedated her. When she awoke, she was told that the abortion was incomplete and that she should come back the following day. That evening, however, she experienced increasing pain and bleeding. Her mother took her to Jamaica Hospital by taxi, where, five hours later, Baby Ana Rosa was born. But Hayat had left his mark upon her; Ana Rosa’s tiny right arm had been torn off in the brutal abortion attempt. Ana Rosa has disappeared from public view, but when last reported, in 1996, she was a perfectly healthy, beautiful, little girl, aside from the abortionist’s mark, which she will always bear.

unborn baby at 29 weeks – four weeks younger than Anna Rosa Rodriguez was when the doctor attempted to abort her.


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Sarah Smith

This is Sarah Smith’s story in her own words:

“Twenty-nine years ago [as of 1999] my mother decided to have an abortion. At the time, she was pregnant with twins, but nobody knew this, not even her doctor. My tiny brother and I were both there growing in her womb, until that dreadful day. Before the abortion, we were both alive. Moments later, I was alone.

It’s frightening to think I was almost aborted when my mom had a D&C abortion. Somehow, miraculously, I survived! My twin brother wasn’t so lucky. Andrew was aborted and we lost him forever.

Several weeks later, my mother was shocked to feel me kicking in her womb. She already had five children and she knew what it felt like when a baby kicked in the womb. She instantly knew that somehow she was still pregnant. She went back to the doctor and told him she was still pregnant…that she had made a big mistake and that she wanted to keep this baby.

To this day, my mother deeply regrets that abortion. I know the pain is unbearable for her at times when she looks at me and knows she aborted my twin brother. Mom says ‘the protective hand of Almighty God saved my life . . . that God’s hand covered and hid me in her womb, and protected me from the scalpel of death.

After surviving the abortion, I was born with bilateral, congenital dislocated hips and many other physical handicaps. Nine days after I was born, I was taken to an orthopedic surgeon who applied a cast to each of my tiny legs. My mom would remove these casts with pliers every Monday morning and take me to the doctor to have new casts put on.

At six weeks I was put into my first body cast. Many surgeries and body cast followed over the next few years. Unfortunately, doctors are telling me that now I’ll need surgeries about every 5 years (please pray for me).

Today, I thank God I survived the abortion, but the pain continues for everyone in my family. In memory of my brother Andrew, we bought a memorial gravestone and placed it in a cemetery in Southern California. It reads:


Please share our story with others so the tragedy of abortion stops hurting babies and families. Everyone needs to know the truth about abortion. Thank you.”

Did Sarah only become a person when she was born? Or was she a person in her mother’s womb when the doctor tried to abort her? When an abortion fails, what is left is a survivor. The tiny heart that was beating when the abortionist’s tools missed her is the same heart that beats now.

Here is an excerpt from a speech Sarah gave at a pro-life convention in Rome:

“I did not know of the abortion until I was 12 years old. I grew up feeling that I was the same as my friends, except for having numerous surgeries and physical complications. The only difference I felt was an incredible loneliness and a knowledge that something was missing. I never felt whole.

“I battled with severe depression and found myself dying of anorexia nervosa at age 12, when my mother knew it was time to tell me the truth. She sat next to me and took my hand and looked me in the eyes and said, ‘Sarah, you are a twin. I aborted your twin brother and tried to abort you. Please know I did not know what I was doing and I pray someday you are able to forgive me. I love you and need you to know that you are a welcome part of our family.’

“At that moment I knew what I had been missing all my life and that I was called to something much greater than I had knowledge of. Immediately I felt the overwhelming pain of the knowledge that I should be dead.

“As I stand before you today,” Sarah told her Rome audience, “I am painfully aware that this is only possible because my twin brother took a scalpel for me, and I stand in his place and memory, giving him honor and a face. Statistics are coldly impersonal and cannot convey the human tragedy of the abortion slaughter. Thirty-two million babies [have been] killed in the United States alone. Yet every one had a face, a life, a Creator who loved them and created them in His image. As you look at me today, you realize that I am no different than you, yet I stand before you today a representative of the dead – a representative of the innocent lives who today may lose their lives. Who will speak for them?”

For more information on Sarah, to order a video about her or to read the text of her speech in Rome, go to Abortion Facts and Testimonies at prolife.com

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Gianna Jessen

Gianna Jessen is a Christian singer/songwriter who was adopted after being born alive after a saline abortion.

Here is the text of Jessen’s speech before a House Subcommittee in 1996:

My name is Gianna Jessen. I am 19 years of age. I am originally from California, but now reside in Franklin, Tennessee. I am adopted. I have cerebral palsy. My biological mother was 17 years old and seven and one-half months pregnant when she made the decision to have a saline abortion. I am the person she aborted. I lived instead of died.

Fortunately for me the abortionist was not in the clinic when I arrived alive, instead of dead, at 6:00 a.m. on the morning of April 6, 1977. I was early, my death was not expected to be seen until about 9 a.m., when he would probably be arriving for his office hours. I am sure I would not be here today if the abortionist would have been in the clinic as his job is to take life, not sustain it. Some have said I am a “botched abortion”, a result of a job not well done.

There were many witnesses to my entry into this world. My biological mother and other young girls in the clinic, who also awaited the death of their babies, were the first to greet me. I am told this was a hysterical moment. Next was a staff nurse who apparently called emergency medical services and had me transferred to a hospital.

I remained in the hospital for almost three months. There was not much hope for me in the beginning. I weighed only two pounds. Today, babies smaller than I was have survived. A doctor once said I had a great will to live and that I fought for my life. I eventually was able to leave the hospital and be placed in foster care. I was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a result of the abortion.

My foster mother was told that it was doubtful that I would ever crawl or walk. I could not sit up independently.

Through the prayers and dedication of my foster mother, and later many other people, I eventually learned to sit up, crawl, then stand. I walked with leg braces and a walker shortly before I turned age four. I was legally adopted by my foster mother’s daughter, Diana De Paul, a few months after I began to walk. The Department of Social Services would not release me any earlier for adoption.

I have continued in physical therapy for my disability, and after a total of four surgeries, I can now walk without assistance. It is not always easy. Sometimes I fall, but I have learned how to fall gracefully after falling 19 years.

I am happy to be alive. I almost died. Every day I thank God for life. I do not consider myself a by-product of conception, a clump of tissue, or any other of the titles given to a child in the womb. I do not consider any person conceived to be any of those things.

I have met other survivors of abortion. They are all thankful for life. Only a few months ago I met another saline abortion survivor. Her name is Sarah. She is two years old. Sarah also has cerebral palsy, but her diagnosis is not good. She is blind and has severe seizures. The abortionist, besides injecting the mother with saline, also injects the baby victims. Sarah was injected in the head. I saw the place on her head where this was done. When I speak, I speak not only for myself, but for the other survivors, like Sarah, and also for those who cannot yet speak …

Today, a baby is a baby when convenient. It is tissue or otherwise when the time is not right. A baby is a baby when miscarriage takes place at two, three, four months. A baby is called a tissue or clumps of cells when an abortion takes place at two, three, four months. Why is that? I see no difference. What are you seeing? Many close there eyes…

The best thing I can show you to defend life is my life. It has been a great gift. Killing is not the answer to any question or situation. Show me how it is the answer.

There is a quote which is etched into the high ceilings of one of our state’s capitol buildings. The quote says, “Whatever is morally wrong, is not politically correct.”

Abortion is morally wrong. Our country is shedding the blood of the innocent. America is killing its future. All life is valuable. All life is a gift from our Creator. We must receive and cherish the gifts we are given. We must honor the right to life.

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One day when I was in third grade, my mom and dad asked me to sit down for a talk. They began by saying that since I was very little, my parents always found me sleeping curled tightly in the fetal position, buried in the covers and always to one side of the bed. I had a recurring nightmare of being trapped in a room with a window blocked by a knife, and they said they often found me talking to my “other self.” My mom said she though these were signs telling her to confess something she had done and hoped I would forgive her.

She told me how, at 39, with her 5 children grown, (the youngest was 19 years old and two were in college), she had found herself pregnant. She had been pressured especially by a particular friend to abort because she was too old and it would be “ridiculous” at her age, to have a baby. This was 1952, and her friend told her a self abortion method. She delayed her abortion attempt until the end of June, her eldest son Elliott’s, birthday. She was about 3 months pregnant.

She started to cry and told me never to believe them when they tell you it is not a baby, but just a blob of tissue. Tracing a tiny outline in the palm of her hand, she said “he was this big and a fully formed baby.” She could hardly continue. “He was a perfect little baby boy.” She cried to heaven on that cold bathroom floor and asked God to forgive her and promised Him if she were ever to become pregnant again, she would NEVER abort a baby. She flushed her little son down the toilet and said she lay on the cold floor crying until she was numb.

No one knew, except her and her so called “friend.” Later, she still felt pregnant. The doctor said that I was probably a tumor or an ulcer. And the first part of September, I kicked her! The doctor was amazed that I had been a hiding twin and survived the abortion attempt. She told no one of her pregnancy except my dad, and later, my youngest brother, 19 year old Fred, who I kicked.

I was due January 21, 1953, however, I was induced one month early on December 19, 1952, and after 3 days of labor, I was born at the Hour of Mercy, 3:30 P.M., Sunday, December 21, 1952. She asked me to forgive her. I asked if she loved me NOW because she did not know me then. She sobbed and sobbed and said, “Yes. I love you with my very life.” I said, “Ok,” and walking back down the hall to my room I could still hear her heartbreaking sobs. When my dad hurried and caught my arm, he whispered, “I did not do it.” And pointing to Mom, he said, “She did!” And I believe the Holy Spirit said this to him through me: “But your love was supposed to make her feel safe to have me.” Those words hit his heart and stopped him from coming any further. (Note: I never slept curled up or had nightmares after this day.)

Years came and went. My mom’s “illness” without a name was cyclical and caused her to take to her bed from the end of June to the beginning of September. Sometimes she flew into rages, or walked the floors night after night, or went on buying binges. She suffered from paranoia, and gobbled down her doctor’s pills. This led to stays in mental hospitals, filled with psychotropic drugs and painful electroshock therapy. Part of the therapy was to tell her it was shame abortion was not legal then, because she could have gone to college, had a career…and not wasted her talents. I remember when I looked deeply into her drugged eyes and told her one summer day, “I know my mom is in there somewhere and some day when I grow up, I am going to find out what this illness is!” We all suffered. Around me I saw other moms with similar problems and obsessions. Now we were living in the days of Roe v. Wade. Imagine the scope of my mom’s pain from just one abortion attempt, and now women have multiple abortions! Three months before my mom died, I asked her why all the breakdowns June through September every year. Why? she broke down in tears and said it was on Elliott’s birthday (the end of June) that she aborted my brother and when Elliott had died tragically at age 27, she felt she had caused the death of her first born son when she aborted her last son. By September she remembered the day I kicked her and how happy she was, and that would bring her out of her moods. She could not trust herself and hated herself for aborting her baby! How could God forgive her? It was a form of self punishment for a crime she felt she could not be forgiven. I told her that is why Jesus died and that God forgave her when she found out that she was still pregnant with me. He trusted her to give me life. She never saw this until the day I told her. Three months later she died, but at peace, and forgiven.

Then and now, silence from the pulpit, the medical and psychiatric communities keep this killing cycle going. Now we have a name for the “illness.” It is post-abortion syndrome. But physicians and women’s (so called “rights groups”) do not even recognize it. How many suffer in silence, looking for help. Yet, we live in an age where Project Rachel groups, St. Raphael Ministries retreats, and pro life organizations are breaking through the silence barrier and helping all the victims of abortion to find healing through the cross of Jesus and the life giving sacraments, especially Reconciliation.

I can remain silent no more. I was a survivor of abortion. Life is never a mistake; life is always a blessing from God. Every single person has a divine mission that only they can fulfill.

The Bible says, “…and a child shall lead them.” It is the worst of times because of great sin, but it is the best of times because of an abundance of God’s grace. Love is a decision. Let us decide to be silent no more.


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Sharon’s Story

Sharon and her husband were a Christian couple who were using an IUD for contraception. When their IUD failed, they were faced with a grim choice.

The general belief was that if a woman became pregnant while wearing an IUD,a miscarriage was a certainty. Not only that, but the miscarriage would cause a massive infection which would lead to a hysterectomy and possible death. Reluctantly, Sharon went in for an abortion.

Here is what she says about the clinic:

“When we arrived, it was an awful place. They had hard rock music playing, huge flowers on the wallpaper, and I was treated like a bad little girl. We were herded in like cattle, vacuumed out and sent to a recovery room.”

Thinking she was no longer pregnant, Sharon went through three packs of birth control pills over the next few months. She “rode Space Mountain at Disney World, took diet pills prescribed by my doctor, took antihistamines for my allergies and moved into a new home.”

Then she felt her baby move.

She goes on to describe the rest of her pregnancy:

“The next four and a half months were hell. I couldn’t pray. I couldn’t sleep. All I could do was worry about the condition of this child that I had tried to kill. I will tell you at this point that the abortion clinic would not talk to us at all. They would not tell me if they had taken a fetus or if they just missed.”

Her son was born healthy. For twenty years, Sharon and her husband kept their story a secret. Then she sought healing through a ministry.

For Sharon’s complete story, and to read more about post-abortion support from a Christian perspective, go to the Safe Haven Home page.

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Phoenix Doe

An unnamed 17-year-old girl went to Moshe Hachamovitch’s A – Z abortion facility in Arizona, seeking a late second-trimester abortion. She was self-referred after a positive home pregnancy test. The date was June 29, 1998.

Dr. John Biskind diagnosed the girl as being 23.6 weeks pregnant based on an ultrasound. The following day, June 30, he began trying to remove the fetus.

The Associated Press story leaves it unclear whether Biskind noticed his mistake and chose to deliver the baby live, or whether she simply came out whole and breathing. Either way, she turned out to be very much alive, not dead as intended despite the fractured skull and two deep facial lacerations she had suffered during the attempt on her life.

Local pro-lifers dubbed the baby “Phoenix”.

After her unintended birth, Phoenix was transferred to Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center. She weighed in at 6 pounds, two ounces. She was actually closer to full term — 37 weeks of gestation. Police spokesman Sgt. Mike Torres told the Associated Press that a Texas couple were to adopt her.

Dr. John Mattox of Good Samaritan told the AP that given the differences in size lie of fetuses of 23 weeks and 37 weeks, the mistake ought not to have happened. Dr. Carolyn Gerster of Arizona Right to Life noted that a 24 week fetus typically weighs only about 2 pounds, a third the size of Phoenix. She said, “With an ultrasound, there shouldn’t be that kind of discrepancy.” Even abortionist Dr. Brian Finkel agreed, saying that “Missing a 37-week gestation and confusing it with a 23-week pregnancy is unacceptable.”

The AP reported that Biskind had gotten letters of concern from the medical board in 1989 for misdiagnosis and in 1990 for improper prescribing. He was censured in 1996 for “gross neglect/conduct harmful to patients or the public.”

What the AP failed to report was that 1990 letter of concern was for attempting to abort a term-infant he had diagnosed as only 10 weeks of gestation, and he was censured again in 1995 due to the death of an abortion patient, Lisa Bardsley.

Biskind’s license was finally revoked in 1998, in the wake of his conviction in the death of Lou Ann Herron. Evidently the medical board doesn’t consider you a threat to the public as an abortionist until you’re convicted of manslaughter.

The clinic where Baby Phoenix was almost killed was owned by abortionist Moshe Hachamovitch, who was implicated in the abortion deaths of Christina Goesswein, Tanya Williamson, Luz Rodriguez, and Jammie Garcia.

A – Z was finally closed July 21, 1998, after its lease was revoked by the landlord and a judge ordered the release of records to a grand jury investigating “possible criminal activity,” NRL News cites from the Arizona Republic. Hachamovitch reportedly also closed his two other Phoenix-area facilities.

Sources: “Infant Injured In Abort Attempt”, Associated Press, 1998; “Full-Term Baby Survives Abortion Attempt”, National Right to Life News, 1998

Credit: Christina Dunigan

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Amy Charlton

In September of 1975, a woman discovered that she was pregnant. Things were very difficult for her, as she was raising two sons, six and 15 years old. Their father had walked out on them and refused to help care for the boys financially, or in any other way. The only alternative for this woman, it seemed, was to abort this unexpected baby. After all, she could barely afford to feed the children she already had.

Between the months of September 1975 and January 1976, this woman had three therapeutic abortions in an attempt to rid herself of the unborn baby. These abortions, also known as a “salting out procedure” are performed by injecting a very large syringe into the woman’s abdomen, removing a certain amount of amniotic fluid out of the womb, and then injecting three times the amount of saline back in, thus “burning” the baby out. For reasons only God knows, these abortions did not take and on April 21, 1976, two months premature, her baby was born. The child was perfect and healthy, weighing four pounds, five ounces.

Unfortunately on March 16, 1977, the mother passed away, less than a year after her baby girl was born. After the woman’s death, the infant’s father and paternal grandmother took custody of the baby and her two brothers. As this baby girl grew up, her father told her about the three abortions she had undergone in her mother’s womb but this little girl never believed him, as she assumed that if a baby is aborted, he or she could not possibly survive.

The truth only came to this girl when she was eighteen years old, married, and approximately five months pregnant with her first child. This girl needed and soon obtained her mother’s medical records from the hospital that had treated her. Imagine her utter shock as she read about how her mother tried to terminate her unborn child three times. As the young girl read the medical documents, the new life inside of her was stirring and kicking as if to say “Mommy please don’t get any ideas.”

Today this young woman is 25 years old and is raising a family of her own. She is healthy and normal in every way, with no physical deformities of any kind.

I am the child that I have been writing about. My mother had no right to try and abort me, no matter what the circumstances were, no matter how inconvenient her pregnancy was. And if she was here with us today, I’m sure she would agree. Life is too precious to simply throw away. Now I can speak out against abortion from the baby’s perspective. Any baby would choose life.


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Heidi Huffman

Seventeen year old Tina Huffman became pregnant in 1978. She gave in to pressure from her parents and boyfriend’s family to have an abortion at ten weeks gestation.

She describes the experience this way:

“my body started to vibrate. I felt my insides being pulled out, all of them.”

She told the accompanying nurse, “I am dying!” The abortionist responded “empty your bladder.” Next came the curette, a loop-shaped knife used to scrape out the remains of an unborn child. Once the abortion was presumably finished, the nurse remarked to Tina in surprise, “You’re not bleeding” and proceeded to send Tina home with birth control pills and antibiotics.”(1)

After two months of physical problems, Tina went to her physician and found out that she was still pregnant. She looked into suing the abortion clinic, but her attorney was told that the clinic lost her chart. No suit was therefore filed.

Heidi Huffman came into the world when labor was induced at 28 weeks. Despite the abortion attempt, Heidi was born healthy.

When Heidi was a child, Tina saw pictures of aborted babies at a fund raiser for a church group. Shocked at what she saw, and grateful that her child’s life had been spared, Tina became a pro-life activist. She and Heidi began to picket abortion clinics and go on speaking tours.

Heidi is quoted here:

“I didn’t really understand all this [about how profound her experience was] until last year when I was telling my story to a large group. Men began weeping, and that’s because they realized – as I did- that I had nearly become an abortion statistic.”

Of her experiences as an abortion activist, Heidi says the following:

“When I was in the third grade, I began joining Mom at various pro-life demonstrations. The night before my first clinic protest, Mom bought some poster board and a black Magic Marker. She wrote “My mom tried to abort me, but God said no. Thanks be to Him that I’m still living.”

I walked back and forth, carrying my sign. then Is spotted an open window in front of the clinic. I walked up to it and noticed a girl- she couldn’t have been more than 13- sitting all alone in a waiting room. I held my sign up to her. She stared at it for the longest time, and then she started crying. A nurse came by and saw me standing outside with my sign. She walked over and closed the blinds.


….I’m carrying a new sign that says “I survived a suction abortion.” I usually get two reactions whewn I show this to abortion rights demonstrators. Many women come up to me, smiling, saying, “Yes, I had a suction abortion, and I survived just fine.”

“No, no,” I explain. “I was inside my mother’s womb when she had a suction abortion. I was almost ripped limb from limb, but I survived.” Their smiles freeze on their faces.

Other people come up and accuse me of making up my story. My mother always carries the hospital records with her to prove that she’s telling the truth.”(2)


1. “Alive & Kickin'” Heidi Huffman: Gravity Teen, http://www.gravityteen.com/pregnancy/kickin.cfm?StoryID=49&Text=Yes
2. “The Miracle Child” Focus on the Family May 1993 pgs 2-5

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Baby Claire

Little Baby Claire is missing her right arm. Like Ana Rosa Rodriguez, she lost the arm when an abortionist twisted it off trying to abort her.

Her Korean mother was unmarried and considered abortion to be the only solution to her problem. Claire, considered unplaceable in Korea, was adopted and brought to the United States by an American couple whose family already included four biological children and a severely disabled, adopted daughter from Taiwan named Carissa.

Claire was one year old when she came to America. She had hip surgery when she was two years old. For six weeks the energetic two-year-old was immobilized in a body cast. Claire’s adopted grandmother Dr. Jean Garton says that her other daughter, Carissa, came to the rescue.

Carissa was born with severe head deformities: She has a severe cleft palate, and no lower jaw, making speech difficult, and difficult to understand. But there’s nothing wrong with her loving heart. With infinite patience, she took care of her little cast-bound sister.

“What could have brought chaos to the family turned into something wonderful,” Dr. Garton relates. “Carissa became Claire’s missing hand and Claire became Carissa’s voice.” When others in the family can’t understand what Carissa is saying, Claire pipes up with the translation.

In addition to the two girls, the family includes three brothers, all triplets. The children, some “abled” and some not, are of different nationalities and races. The family proves that disabled children can live happy lives with loving parents. Read Dr. Garton’s article “Who Would Want a Child Like That?” We Would! Anyone who feels that pro-lifers only care about unborn babies should read this article.

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