Melissa Ohden 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 and being born alive at approximately six 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/sexual assault counseling and child welfare.
Melissa was formerly a College Outreach Speaker with Feminists for Life, traveling to college campuses to share her story while advocating for resources and supports for pregnant and parenting college students and advocating for the rights of the unborn. In 2011 Melissa was named Patron of Real Choices Australia, after her tour of Australia prompted widespread awareness of Melissas positive message and life's work. Melissa will continue to work with Real Choices Australia and organizations across Australia to ensure that women and men are provided real choices and supports that are life-affirming, while sharing the true reality of abortion with others and working to save the lives of children just like her.
Melissa is the Founder and Director of For Olivia's Sake, an organization which seeks to peacefully raise awareness of the intergenerational impact to abortion on men, women, children, families, and communities. The birth of Olivia, her first child, in 2008, prompted Melissa to found For Olivia's Sake.
Painfully aware that Olivia would not have come into existence if the abortion would have succeeded in ending her life, Melissa felt driven to create this organization that would positively raise awareness of the ripple effect of abortion across generations.
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. Melissa's story is one about the beauty of God's grace in our lives, about the power of love, about the hope for joy and healing in the midst of grief and loss, and about 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 certain death of the abortion attempt, Melissa is truly a voice for the voiceless.
Melissa Ohden will speak at St. John's Lutheran Church at 207 Randall St., in Reinbeck, on Sunday, Jan. 29 at 2:00 p.m. Light refreshments will follow her presentation. Open to the public.