Nonprofit Fights for Abortion Survivors Rights


Abortion Survivors Network | Image by The Abortion Survivors Network/Facebook

The Abortion Survivors Network is a Kansas-based nonprofit and advocacy group that offers support to those who have survived abortions along with their families across the world.

“We’re a leading voice that humanizes the unborn, survivors of abortion and all impacted by abortion, like you,” the organization says on its website.

The Abortion Survivors Network (ASN) was founded in 2012 by Melissa Ohden who survived an attempted saline infusion abortion in 1977. Ohden explained on the group’s website that she has experienced the “intergenerational impact of abortion” as a result of this attempted abortion.

The work of ASN includes providing social and emotional support to abortion survivors and their families, raising public awareness about failed abortions and the experiences of abortion survivors, and advocating for the unborn both in the public arena and through actively supporting anti-abortion legislation.

Attempted abortions that fail and thus result in the birth of a live infant are known as “born-alive abortions.”

ASN claims that over 17,800 born-alive abortions have occurred in the United States since 1973 — the year Roe v. Wade was decided by the Supreme Court. According to research conducted by ASN, an average of 1,700 born-alive abortions occurred each year from 2014 to 2020.

One of the more recent pieces of legislation supported by ASN is the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act”, which passed in the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives on January 11.

If enacted, the bill would require medical professionals to administer life-saving care to infants who survive an abortion and criminally penalize those who fail to provide such care.

The bill was introduced to the Democrat-controlled Senate on February 1 by Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and John Thune (R-SD).

When discussing this bill, Melissa Ohden referred to Lankford and Thune as “courageous defenders of life.”

“They are again demonstrating their leadership by introducing legislation that would ensure infants like me and countless others are guaranteed medical care and legal protections when abortions fail and life wins,” she continued, per a press release on Thune’s page.

“The Abortion Survivors Network is committed to serving survivors of abortion at any gestational age, along with their mothers, who deserve compassionate prenatal and postpartum care, a delivery plan, and emotional support.”

“Let us work together to ensure that infant survivors and their mothers receive the best medical and emotional care possible,” Ohden concluded. “We are proud to stand with Senators Thune and Lankford and their colleagues in strong support of this legislation.”

Some who are pro-abortion, however, have vocally opposed the “Born-Alive Act”.

According to The Hill, Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) said the bill was “extremist, dangerous, and unnecessary.”

After it passed in the House, the nonprofit NARAL Pro-Choice America released a statement condemning the bill and alleging that it “would allow politicians to interfere in personal family decisions.”

The organization’s president, Mini Timmaraju, said in a press release, “These bills make it plain: House Republicans are patently rejecting the will of the overwhelming majority of Americans who voted to support legal abortion in November.”

“Meanwhile, our Democratic reproductive freedom champions in the House are ready and willing to fight to restore and expand access to abortion — and we thank them for that,” she continued. “The American people are watching this fight, and the contrast with their GOP colleagues is damning.”

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