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Democrats and Abortion: Bring It On

Cal Thomas, Tribune Content Agency on

With the economy, the border and foreign policy not working for them in this election cycle, Democrats are counting on the abortion issue to save their hides in November.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has announced a “Winning Pro-Life Strategy” to counter their game plan. In a memo reported by The Washington Times, Rubio says Republicans “need to develop and fight for a compassionate, pro-family agenda that counters caricatures of our beliefs and makes life easier for mothers and their children. Second, we need to put Democrats on the defensive about their extreme support for abortion. Third, we need to tell the truth about what abortion is – the taking of innocent life – and advocate for limits to the practice.”

A fourth way could be approaching the issue from an angle rarely heard in the ongoing abortion debate. Melissa Ohden is doing that. Her new book, “Abortion Survivors Break Their Silence,” tells the stories of several women and men who survived abortions, along with the backstories of who and what persuaded their mothers to terminate their pregnancies.

Ohden says she survived a saline abortion and was put aside to die but was saved by a nurse who took her to a neonatal intensive care unit. Now in her 40s, married with two daughters, she writes: “The truth has been swept so far under the rug that abortion survivors are silenced, or just plain ignored. The same is true about almost anyone whose experience doesn’t support the popular narrative that abortion is synonymous with women’s empowerment.”

The book is not a political screed, but personal accounts of healing and reconciliation between the women who at first wanted to get rid of “The Dreaded Complication,” as some abortion doctors call those who survive, and their sons and daughters.

Ohden writes about her mother being pressured by her mother, an ob-gyn nurse, into having an abortion in 1977. Her grandmother, she says, was able to bypass normal procedures at a local hospital to fast track her abortion. Many years later after meeting her birth mother, she writes about their reconciliation.

When Ohden discovered she was not alone in her experience, she founded the Abortion Survivors Network.

Ohden quotes a 1981 story in the Philadelphia Inquirer: “(Abortion live births) are little known because organized medicine, from fear of public clamor and legal action, treats them more as an embarrassment to be hushed up than a problem to be solved.”

The number of abortion survivors in the U.S. is unknown, but Canada and Australia are among countries that keep records. While their numbers are relatively small, Ohden notes every life is precious and none of those whose stories she tells regrets being given a chance at life.

 

One of the few abortion survival stories that made national news, because it was too grisly to ignore, was about Philadelphia abortion docto r Dr. Kenneth Gosnell, who was convicted of murdering babies that survived abortions in his rogue clinic by “snipping” their spinal cords. He was sentenced in 2013 to three life terms in prison.

Instead of cowering in fear or arguing about the number of gestational weeks after which abortions should be limited or outlawed, Republicans and pro-lifers should attach the left’s favorite word “extreme” to pro-choice Democrats. Why don’t they do more to support adoption? Why won’t congressional Democrats vote for “ The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act,” which passed the Republican majority House a year ago, but has languished in the Democrat majority Senate?

During campaigns, Republicans – from their presidential nominee to House and Senate races – should feature abortion survivors. Polls show a large majority of Americans want some restrictions on abortion after viability. They would likely support protections for survivors of abortion if they were aware of them.

Republicans should follow Melissa Ohden’s example and help her tell their stories.

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Readers may email Cal Thomas at tcaeditors@tribpub.com. Look for Cal Thomas’ latest book “A Watchman in the Night: What I've Seen Over 50 Years Reporting on America" (HumanixBooks).

©2024 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


 

 

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