Putting a Face To What You're Fighting For
By Claire Culwell
A year ago, when I was 21 years old, I met the woman who gave birth to me. I had always dreamed about the day I would meet her, and it NEVER involved the most significant part of it all...learning that I was an ABORTION SURVIVOR. She was 13 years old when she became pregnant with me and the only option she knew of (according to her mother) was abortion. She proceeded to go to an abortion clinic nearby where she had an abortion. A few weeks later she realized she was still pregnant and decided to go to an out-of-state late-term abortion clinic to have a second abortion. During her examination at the late-term abortion clinic, she was told that she had been pregnant with TWINS. One was aborted, and one survived. She was also told that it was too late to have even a late-term abortion. She decided to give me up for adoption when I was born two weeks later. If you ask her now, she will tell you that if she had known the results of abortion vs. adoption, she would have gone straight to the adoption agency instead. Putting me up for adoption (and giving me the best family I can imagine) was a life-changing decision for all of us.
Because of the abortion, I was born 2 ½ months premature and weighed 3 lbs 2 oz. I was on life support and had to stay in the hospital for 2 ½ months until I could be brought home. My hips were dislocated and my feet were turned (because during the abortion, the sac that held my body together was broken) and when I was brought home I had 2 casts on my feet and a harness. I was put in a body cast for 4 months, and I didn't walk until I was over 2 years old. It still affects me even today.
It's hard for me to even grasp the fact that I survived and my twin didn't. I also know that I'll never know what I'm missing because my twin didn't make it into this world and what the world's missing because of ALL the babies that don't receive the same GIFT of life that you and I have. But it shows me the magnitude of life. Life was not meant to be taken for granted or played around with. Life is the greatest gift you can receive and give. The hard part is that so many of us (myself included) just go about our lives not realizing what a GIFT we've been given and forgetting about how many babies are not given this gift and opportunity of LIFE.
The last year has been the most amazing year of my life. Finding out I'm an abortion survivor has NOT been a curse, but rather a HUGE blessing. I now see how wonderful and beautiful life really is. If you are reading this article because you join me in the fight for life and you truly know that life is precious, I want to thank you! And I hope that it is helpful to put a face with what you are fighting for! My birth mother, Tonya, my twin and I were once in the same messy situation as each of the women walking into the clinics across the nation. I hope that you will fight for the babies' lives with LOVE because love (and grace) are the only reasons that I am here today after an abortion that was supposed to take my life and a second attempted abortion. I encourage you in your fight for the precious gift of life.
"Before you were born, I knew you...every day of your life was written in my book." Psalm 139
To read more about Claire's story or to request for her to share her story at your organization, go to Claire Culwell.