PLANT CITY A woman who was born after a botched abortion said she wants to share her story to inspire others and perhaps turn women away from the procedure.
“I know God spared my life from certain death,” said Melissa Ohden, who was the featured speaker at the Pregnancy Care Center of Plant City’s annual banquet.
Ohden, 36, travels the country to tell her story and advocate for the pro-life movement.
She said she was adopted and didn’t learn of the circumstances of her birth until she was a teenager. She said she was shocked when she learned she survived a failed saline infusion abortion attempt.
“I couldn’t understand how anyone could make that decision about my life,” she said.
Ohden said she was born with respiratory and liver problems but overcame them.
Ohden, who is married and has a master’s in social work, said she has contacted her birth mother but hasn’t met her. She said her birth mother didn’t realize that that Ohden survived the attempted abortion and was adopted by a couple. Her biological father died before she could meet him.
The Celebration for Life banquet is the largest fundraiser of the year for the Pregnancy Care Center. More than 300 people attended the banquet to benefit the faith-based organization.
At the banquet, Executive Director Darlene Davis praised her staff and volunteers who help meet the ever-growing demand on the center at 304 N. Collins St.
“We have the most awesome volunteers in the world,” Davis said.
The center offers such services as pregnancy testing, baby supplies and parenting classes, among many others. The center does not perform or recommend abortions.
The center wouldn’t be able to offer its services without fundraisers such as the annual banquet, she said.
“Although all our services are free to our clients, they’re not free for us,” Davis said.
The center served 2,160 clients last year, more than triple previous years, she said.
“We have now become the first choice for girls in a crisis situation,” Davis said.
For information, contact the center at (813) 759-0886.