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Three abortion survivors told their stories of forgiveness and the dignity of human life Friday at a gathering of social conservatives, offering an emotional look at the consequences of abortion.
The panel discussion, called “Aborted on Our Birth Days: They Say We Don’t Exist,” featured Melissa Ohden, founder of the Abortion Survivors Network, and fellow abortion survivors Josiah Presley and Claire Culwell.
Issue - Ohden - Values - Voter - Summit
“We are not a controversial issue,” Ohden said at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, referring to abortion survivors throughout the world. “We are not someone else’s right. We are not a choice. We are more than a choice: We are human beings.”
The speakers made a dramatic entrance, emerging to a darkened stage as the sound of a heartbeat pounded over the loudspeakers and each announced in turn, “I am an abortion survivor.”
Panel - Discussion - Family - Research - Council
The panel discussion, moderated by Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, focused on the survivors’ stories as they each emphasized the pain they each felt upon learning of the abortion that almost took their lives.
Ohden, 42, who was adopted after surviving an abortion, described a healing process that led her to track down her biological family and uncover medical records documenting the unsuccessful abortion.
People - Love - Ohden - Mother - Pain
“It’s people’s love that has continued to bolster me,” Ohden said, telling how she has grown close to her biological mother after seeing the pain the abortion caused her.
Presley told how he was born in South Korea after surviving an abortion. He was adopted by an American family and raised in a devoutly Christian household.
Left - Arm - Presley - Birth - Mother
Born with a deformed left arm, Presley admitted that he initially hated his birth mother and felt worthless because of that deformity, possibly a result of the attempted abortion.
“The turning point came in my life when I was 16,” Presley said, saying that...
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