Abortion Survivor Horrors: Buckets of Formaldehyde & Suffocating Baby Squeaks

Tierin-Rose Mandelburg | March 14, 2024
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The Heritage Foundation hosted an event titled “What Americans Need to Know About Abortion Survivors” on Thursday. The hour long panel featured Andrew Bath, Executive Vice President, General Counsel, from the Thomas More Society, Dr. John Bruchalski, founder of Tepeyac OB-GYN, and Melissa Ohden, founder and CEO of Abortion Survivors Network.

The trio, via questions from The Daily Signal’s Mary Margaret Olohan, spoke about late term abortions and how they not only are still happening despite the media and the left attempting to cover them up, but also how absolutely horrific these procedures are for both mothers and babies.

Dr. Bruchalski talked about his past experience being an abortion provider and how he made the shift from abortion to life-affirming medicine. 

He recounted one evening in his career where in one room he helped a woman give birth and in the next room over he conducted an abortion procedure. “That second patient,” he said, talking about the baby of the mother in the abortion room, “lived.”

What he said next was shocking and heartbreaking but exposed the reality of what many abortion providers, himself at the time, think. 

“What did I do at that moment? I wanted to suffocate the squeaks of the child that I caught in a pail because no one wanted it,” he said. “Out of a false compassion, I put a covering over the child’s head,” he said before explaining that he had to reposition the baby’s tiny head in order to get them to suffocate faster. 

I don’t think there was a dry eye in the auditorium as event attendees were reminded of the absolute vile truths of abortion. You could’ve heard a pin drop in the room at that point.

Later on in his career, students and mentors told Dr. B that he was “better than this” and then the shift from abortion to life-affirming medicine “became clear.”

Ohden grabbed his hand and said, “what you’re looking at when I reach over and grab Dr. B’s hand, he, ended the lives of children just like me, and yet, I have the great opportunity here to sit with him today and say, this is what redemption looks like. This is what restoration looks like. This conversion is possible.”

Everyone in the audience had chills recognizing how there is hope in this battle.

Ohden then shared her own story of how her birth mother was coerced into aborting her. Typically it takes roughly three days after a woman’s child is injected with saline before the woman goes into labor. For Ohden, it took five days before her mother delivered her. Shockingly, Ohden was born alive.

She was not given immediate medical care and was told that she was set to be like other babies who were born alive after abortions and placed in “buckets of formaldehyde” in a utility closet. By God’s grace, a “brave nurse defied the orders to leave” Ohden and brought her to the NICU. A neonatologist estimated that Ohden’s birth mother was roughly 31 weeks along when she sought an abortion. 


Ohden’s story isn’t rare. Bath mentioned that of the late-term-abortions, yes, the ones the left claims never happen, “up to 50% are born alive” and many are left to die slowly, some even in buckets of formaldehyde or by suffocation like Dr. B and Ohden talked about. 

Olohan then asked, “Why would we be told by media, activists and lawmakers that this isn’t happening when we know that, in fact, it is?”

“This is ideologically driven,” Dr. Bruchalski said. “This is abortion on demand” he added before explaining that even when a child comes out alive, it’s “still not wanted” hence why the left makes it their every mission to cover up, erase and dismiss these types of stories.

Ohden focused on this point when she said that she wishes she could say that when she was born alive the “medical professionals saw my inherent dignity and value,” but that wasn’t the case and she noted that she, along with other children who were accidentally born alive, are called the “dreaded complication of abortion.”

Related: Canada Offers Taxpayer Funded ‘Universal Access to Contraception’

Dr. B emphasized that real physicians need to stop deciding “who lives and who dies.”

Olohan later asked Bath to talk about some of the laws that we currently have in place that aim to help children and why they aren’t being enforced. He mentioned one that has been introduced in congress which would require that doctors provide care to babies born alive during abortions “to the same degree” that they’d care for a preemie child. “Last year, all but three Democrats voted against this law,” Bath noted before calling on “prayer support” and “congress to act.”

To conclude, Dr. B explained that we need to “stop seeing children as sexually transmitted diseases that need to be eradicated” and that we need to “stop being on the walkway where you are choosing who lives and who dies.”

In all, the event was incredibly moving. The real life scenarios, the statistics and the realities of abortion stuck with audience members. I hope and pray that those on the left are as moved by this as attendees were and make that same shift Dr. B made from being pro-abortion to becoming life-affirming. 

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