Melissa's New Book

I was blessed to be named Rosemarie after both of my Italian grandmothers, Rosa, and Maria, but I prefer “Rose”.  I am a true “Jersey Girl”, attitude and more, and live in Morristown, New Jersey.  I was born in Newark, NJ, and have lived in NJ my entire life. Living in the shadows of New York City has led to a bit of an inferiority complex as a NJ native ; this has been something I have battled for most of my personal life also, but for different reasons. 

You see, I recently discovered that I am an abortion survivor who survived a first trimester chemical abortion in 1961. Growing up with my biological parents and siblings, I was surprised by this news yet accepting of it at the same time. Let me briefly share my story.

During the time of my conception, my parents were poor and lived in a three-room cold-water flat apartment. They already had five children, ranging from two and a half to seven years old. Feeling overwhelmed and fearing she did not have the physical space, finances, or emotional capability to care for another baby, my mom shared her concerns with my dad, not knowing what to do. He asked her if she wanted to have an abortion, which was illegal in 1961, and she immediately said no because of her Catholic faith. She then called her OB/GYN who told her to come to his office for three consecutive days to take 18 pills (methotrexate) and a shot (possibly saline?) each day. After following his advice to no avail, she found out she was still pregnant with me.  At that point, the doctor told her there was nothing more he could do for her. So, here I am, a miracle, protected by God to fulfill my destiny.

Rose and Her Sister

My mother carried this burden for many years without sharing it with me. I  finally learned about my survival one week before my mom’s 91st birthday in September 2020. She told my younger sister first, who also survived the same chemical abortion attempt 11 months after mine, and then my sister shared the news with me of what our mom told her. This prepared me for the call I was about to make to my mom, who had been calling us both her ‘miracle angels’ over the past few years for reasons I was about to find out. Growing up with my biological parents and siblings, I was taken aback  by this news, but as a believer I was relieved to hear this as I knew how much I was loved by my Heavenly Father, parents, and siblings. The fact that my mom (also a believer) did not share this with my sister and I for so many years must have taken a heavy toll on her. I found out later that my mom had previously told my older sister and our two sisters-in-law years ago probably to help alleviate her burden.  Despite this act that was meant to take our lives, the reality was – we both survived chemical abortion intact! I have always had a strong bond with my younger sister, and now we know why–we are both miracles and survivors.  

In addition to being an abortion survivor, I have had to overcome (survive) the stigma of being poor/lower class as a child, a failed marriage, an early breast cancer diagnosis, and a serious car accident that almost took my life, again. When I became a Christian at 17 years old, I learned the importance of forgiveness, which has been the bridge to my healing from these, and other events. I  have since forgiven my parents, my ex-husband, myself, and others who have hurt me. I now live my life with joy, love, and acceptance of who I am in Christ. I am blessed with a husband who loves God, loves me, and is truly my soulmate. Realizing my life is a gift from my Heavenly Father, I try to live my life sharing His love and healing with my family, friends, and those I meet. The Lord has often reminded me of Matthew 13:45-46, where He says, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.” We are each that pearl of great value, and we need to be reminded of this as abortion survivors. I have needed this reminder many times throughout my life. My prayer is that you, each one of you, recognize how valuable you are and your worth!

Professionally, I recently retired from my career as a Registered Dietitian. I spent much of my career as a Clinical Nutrition Manager (mostly in nursing homes), then as a Dietetic Internship Director, and lastly as an adjunct professor. Now, I enjoy spending time serving the Lord, being with my husband, helping to care for my 93-year-old mom and being with other family and friends. Baking is one of my favorite hobbies, as is cooking and entertaining. My greatest  joy comes from my faith in Jesus as my savior and Lord, my Heavenly Father, and Holy Spirit!

My experience with ASN has far exceeded my expectations. I first learned about ASN in July of 2022 through my younger sister. She encouraged me to also be a part of ASN as it would help us both. I joined, not fully grasping all ASN had to offer survivors. I began the healing group with my sister in September 2022. Although working through the healing workbook was difficult at times, uncovering raw or buried wounds, I am so glad I did it. Working through it with my sister was such a blessing. I learned things about myself that I never knew were inside me. The chapter on trauma in the womb was so eye-opening and helped me understand why I behaved like I did my whole life (feeling inferior, not measuring up, etc.). Priscilla and Kara facilitated our healing group and were so gentle, understanding, and loving toward us as we walked through the healing process. Not that I have arrived, but I know as a believer that I can come from a place of victory instead of defeat. Next, on to speaker’s training. 

I had the privilege of attending the March for Life 2023 with ASN along with my sister. It was a beautiful and emotional experience meeting the ASN family in person for the first time. I was so blessed and often cried when meeting them, especially Melissa, Priscilla, and Kara. I felt such a connection as I was immediately welcomed and accepted by each one I met. This acceptance was new to me as I previously felt unsure of myself and “less than.” I am so thankful to God for each one of you that I met in DC—you know who you are! I have the utmost gratitude to Melissa for saying ‘yes’  to God to start ASN. It is truly anointed and a blessing from the Lord! I have read and heard testimonies from a few abortion survivors, and I am amazed how unique our stories are. I am sure I will be equally amazed when I learn more abortion survival stories, hand-crafted by our Creator.  In Matthew 19:14, Jesus said, “Let the children alone and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” As abortion survivors, Jesus protected us in the womb, we are His children, and the kingdom of heaven belongs to us!  I look forward to meeting more of the ASN family and using my voice and my testimony for God’s glory. Thank you ASN!


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