'Youth-friendly' novena part of 'Nine Days' event to mark Roe decision

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The U.S. Catholic bishops have launched "Nine Days of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage" to take place Jan. 19-27 as part of events marking the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion virtually on demand in the U.S.

Jan. 22 is the actual anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 decision, but because this year it is the day after public ceremonies for the presidential inauguration, the annual March for Life in Washington will take place Jan. 25.

An amazing purpose | Abortion survivor shares message of forgiveness, helping others

Melissa Ohden, 35, survived a saline abortion in 1977. Since discovering the details of her birth, Ohden has left her job as a social worker and now travels around the country to speak about her life of trusting in God and the practice of forgiveness.

As a self-described abortion survivor, Melissa Ohden is often told by others that God has given her a special purpose in life.

But Ohden said that her life should serve as a reminder that God has given "every single one of us an amazing purpose for our lives."

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