An abortion survivor said it’s “traumatizing and disgusting” that Democrats collectively opposed legislation that would require abortion providers to give medical care to infants who survive the procedure.
“It’s almost indescribable for me to say what that’s like to see the people who are in opposition to truly who I am and what I have suffered and the population I serve – what they’re still suffering today,” said Melissa Ohden, the founder of the Abortion Survivors Network, an advocacy organization that offers support to people who survive abortions.
Ohden survived a saline infusion abortion in 1977. She said her birth mother’s family pressured her to undergo the procedure.
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“I soaked in a toxic salt solution for five days being poisoned and scalded to what was intended to be my death,” Ohden told Fox News. “And on the fifth day of the abortion procedure, I was accidentally born alive.”
Despite demands from her own grandmother to leave her to die in the hospital, Ohden said a brave nurse rushed her to the neonatal intensive care unit for treatment.
“For me, that’s what the Born-Alive vote is all about,” Odhen said. “Ensuring that babies like me are provided medical care.”
The House passed the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act on Wednesday, which would require doctors to provide immediate medical attention for babies born alive after an attempted abortion. Federal law already requires that an infant who survives an attempted abortion receive medical care.
The bill also clarifies that a survivor is a “legal person for all purposes under the laws of the United States.” Additionally, it states that a baby born at an abortion clinic that does not have adequate care facilities would be responsible for transporting the child to a hospital.
“No survivor’s life should ever be left in the hands of whoever happens to be working that day,” Ohden said.
Ohden has supported the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act for over a decade.
“Knowing that it was blocked over 80 times when we had Speaker Pelosi—obviously, yesterday was very historic,” she said.
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Ohden was in the House gallery with another survivor during the vote. She watched as House Democrats, many dressed in white out of protest, took a stand against the bill.
All but two voted against the legislation, which passed 220-210. Senior Democratic lawyers tweeted criticism, calling Republicans’ position “extreme.”
“Today, instead of joining Democrats to condemn all political violence, [House Republicans] chose to push their extreme anti-choice agenda,” former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted Wednesday.
Vice President Kamala Harris also weighed in on the vote.
“House Republicans passed an extreme bill today that will further jeopardize the right to reproductive health care in our country,” Harris tweeted. “This is yet another attempt by Republican legislators to control women’s bodies.”
Ohden said this is a “common sense” issue and should not be politicized.
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“Most survivors find it traumatizing and disgusting that we are reduced to being a partisan issue,” she said. “That is not who we are, that is what they are trying to make us out to be.”
House passage of the bill sends it to the Senate, though the upper chamber, controlled by Democrats, likely won’t act on it.
“We will have a lot of abortion survivors reaching out to senators,” Ohden told Fox News. “We are constituents of our senators and we deserve for them to hear our stories and how their vote impacts us.”
To watch the full interview with Ohden, click here.