Lisa Rowe, CEO of Support After Abortion, sits down with Melissa Ohden, President and Founder of Abortion Survivors Network to discuss what abortion survivors experience and how we can be a catalyst for change to bring more compassion into their healing process.

When Melissa was 14 years ago she found out that her birth mom was forced to have an abortion, this abortion did not go as planned, and Melissa knew then she is a survivor of abortion. She recalls stumbling, struggling and screaming at God. Through all of this her identity shifted to fighter, and now as a healed abortion survivor she continues to fight because she believes that deserves healing and everyone deserves better.

The Impact of Abortion Leads to Emotional Pain.

Every survival story is different, but the original wound they experience is the same, rejection in the womb. As Melissa states, “when we are rejected in the womb, by choice or circumstance, we enter the world with deep wounds.” Survivors will often hold toxic relationships tightly, because it is better than feeling that same wound of rejection. Survivors may experience feelings of “looking for someone,” or they become people pleasers. Melissa recalls that her deepest fear was letting her adoptive parents down, so she worked tirelessly to make sure they and everyone around her was always ok.

In addition to the emotional pain an abortion survivor faces, they can also experience physical pain as well. Chronic pain, fatigue, and immune system issues are just a few of the invisible wounds that survivors can suffer from.

More Compassion and Change to heal people impacted by Abortion

Within the Pro-Life Movement there are two misconceptions when it comes to surviving an abortion.

First, the pro-life movement fails to recognize the generational cycles of abortion. As Lisa states, “Abortion pays-it-forward just like abuse or addiction.” We cannot continue to assume that because someone survived an abortion, they are immune from having another abortion experience. Fifty percent of women who have had one abortion experience go on to have one or more additional abortions. This is why healing for those who have survived an abortion is so important, so the cycle stops. This cycle will continue if we do not recognize the need to increase our capacity of healing, for ALL impacted by abortion.

The second misconception is that because someone survived an abortion, their life is great. People assume there is not a need for healing, for someone that survived a procedure that kills so many. When survivors hear this, it disregards their feelings and reinforces the behavior of acting like everything is ok. The reality is, they are broken and as Lisa states, “broken people need to heal.” We need to collaborate and be a catalyst for change, so that when an abortion survivor begins to tell their story we can give them the abortion recovery healing they need. If you are interested in becoming a catalyst for change, and to increase the capacity of abortion recovery healing to ALL that need it, please register for our free Support After Abortion Virtual Conference.

If you or someone you know has been impacted by abortion please know you are not alone. Please contact our hopeline at 844-289-HOPE (4673), or visit us at