‘So Much Is At Stake!’: Former Gov. and Abortion Survivor Get Urgent at Yes! Rally

“We need your help. So much is at stake!” said the former governor. “The Kansas City Star says out-of-state abortions will increase by 1,000 times the Value Them Both amendment fails.”

That was the message at an Aug. 1 get out the vote rally at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, where speakers stressed how important it is to promote a Yes vote on the Value Them Both Amendment Aug. 2 in Kansas.

Former Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer gave the marching orders: “Take out your phone. Look in your contacts. Make 10 phone calls this evening, 10 more this evening, and 10 more August 2nd. Tell them how important this vote is, and clear up any confusion so many have. Do not assume that they will vote Yes.”

“Above all,” he said, “pray!”

Colyer said the vote was a typical attack on Kansas, “America’s heart,” where significant issues have been put at issue since the state was a battle ground over slavery in its very inception.

Melissa Ohden, a Kansas City area woman who was “accidentally” born alive when nurses attempted to abort her, spoke of how urgent this issue is.

“We couldn’t be where we are without Benedictine College,” Ohden said, mentioning students whose efforts put the initiative on the ballot and who have knocked on doors for the amendment all summer. “When these students look back on this summer, this is going to be a pivotal part of their life story.”

She said that the fight for life is important because so many who favor abortion are “coerced, forced, confused and fed misinformation.”

“I was ashamed and embarrassed” when she learned as a teen that her family had tried to kill her as an unborn child, she said. “The world at-large says that what happened was someone else’s right, somebody’s decision to make, and that I shouldn’t be alive.”

But now, “I’ve learned to embrace it,” she said. “I wasn’t given this life just to sit with it quietly. I truly knew I was called to this.”

She was born burned red from saline solution that was supposed to kill her. The medical team at her abortion left her to die but “a brave nurse” took her to the NICU.

Ohden’s mother spent 30 years believing that her child had been killed. When Ohden met her as an adult she her mom, as is the case with so many women, did not want the abortion but was forced into the decision by family. Ohden wrote a book about her reconciliation with her birth mother, You Carried Me.

But most women who have had abortions spend a lifetime realizing that the life of a beautiful son or daughter like Ohden has been ended because of their choice.

Both Kim Borchers, the Topeka Value Them Both consultant and Gov. Colyer thanked the college for the decisive role played in their efforts by students. Colyer thanked the college for providing “well-formed brains and well-formed souls … who come out with a moral compass and tools to navigate the difficult issues the world is facing.”

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Benedictine College’s mission can Transform Culture in America by modeling community in an age of incivility, spreading faith in an age of hopelessness, and committing to scholarship in a “post-truth” era. The Ex Corde Center for Catholic Media creates video and other media content to promote positive messages of faith, hope, and love while providing students with the tools, experiences, and contacts they need to enter the 21st century media world as effective communicators. Learn about the Ex Corde media fellows program.