Melissa is the survivor of a failed saline infusion abortion in 1977 (copies of her medical records that document the abortion meant to end her life can be viewed on this website’s picture page).
Despite the initial concerns regarding Melissa’s future after surviving the attempt to end her life and being born alive at approximately seven months gestation, she has not only survived but thrived. With a Master’s Degree in Social Work, she has worked in the fields of substance abuse, mental health, domestic violence/sexual assault counseling, and child welfare. Melissa and her husband Ryan have a daughter, Olivia, whose birth at the same hospital where Melissa’s life was supposed to end, has significantly shaped Melissa’s ministry.
Melissa was formerly a College Outreach Speaker with Feminists for Life and former Patron of Real Choices Australia. She is the Founder and Director of For Olivia’s Sake, an organization which seeks to raise awareness of the intergenerational impact of abortion on men, women, children, families, and communities. The birth of Olivia, her first child, in 2008,who never would have existed if Melissa’s birthmother’s abortion would have succeeded in ending her life, prompted Melissa to create this organization that would positively raise awareness of the ripple effect of abortion across generations.
In 2012, Melissa founded The Abortion Survivors Network, www.theabortionsurvivors.com, after recognizing the number of abortion survivors and how most felt alone in this role, and after recognizing the need for the public to be educated about the reality of failed abortions and abortion survivors. Since ASN’s inception, Melissa has been in contact with over 160 survivors and she is working on a healing ministry curriculum and a retreat for survivors.
Melissa has been featured on television and radio programs including: The 700 Club, EWTN’s Life on the Rock and Defending Life, Fox News, Facing Life Head On, Focus on the Family, and American Family Radio, the Mike Huckabee show, and the Teresa Tomeo show. Her life and ministry is featured in the award winning pro-life documentary, A Voice for Life.
After years of searching for her biological family and offering them forgiveness for the decision that was made to end her life, Melissa’s story, and her life, is so much more than one of survival. Melissa’s life story is about the beauty of God’s grace in our lives, about the power of love, about the hope for joy and healing in the midst of grief and loss, and about the transformational power of forgiveness and in answering God’s call for your life.
Fulfilling the purpose that she believes God set out for her when He saved her from the certain death of the abortion attempt, Melissa is truly a voice for the voiceless.
For more information about hosting Melissa at an upcoming event, please see the “links” section on this site for more information on Ambassador Speaker’s Bureau, the oldest and most established faith-based talent agency in the United States, who Melissa is affiliated with, or visit the Ambassador Speaker’s Bureau website directly at ambassadorspeakers.com. You may also contact Melissa directly with any questions about speaking availability or for general comments, using the “contact” section.