Claire Culwell knows what it’s like to be a survivor. At the age of 13, her mother learned she was pregnant and decided to have an abortion, though she didn’t know she was pregnant with twins.
After she had an abortion of Claire’s brother, she returned to the abortion clinic after realizing she still had a growing and developing baby inside of her. Told she was too late to have a second abortion, she gave birth to Claire, who struggled on life support as she dealt with a myriad of medical issues following her birth.
“I found out I was affected by abortion about 3 years ago,” Culwell says. “This changed my life. I had walked into the Coalition For Life wondering what their organization provided and 5 months later I met my birth mother who told me my life is a miracle.”
“My birth mother was 13 years old at the time she became pregnant with me. Her mother took her straight to an abortion clinic where she had a surgical abortion. After thinking she had “fixed the problem,” a few weeks later she realized her belly was still growing. Her mother took her back to the abortion clinic where she learned that she had been pregnant with twins,” Culwell recalls. “One was aborted; one survived.”
Culwell says she can’t imagine not sharing her story with others.
“My life is a miracle and I would be selfish to keep this gift of life to myself,” she says. “I want to tell everyone what a gift I and even they have been given!! I want to encourage them to seek alternatives to abortion because I would never want any woman/man to go through the grief and the pain that my birth mother went through simply because she didn’t know she had any other option.”
“I also want to be a vessel to offer God’s forgiveness to the men and women who have previously had abortions. I know healing is possible and I have been given the gift of surviving an abortion so that I can tell these men and women that they are forgiven…coming from an aborted child, I hope they know the power of forgiveness and healing through meeting me,” Culwell continues.
“My life is a testimony that there are wonderful alternatives to abortion (such as adoption in my case) and an accidental/unwanted child still deserves life…even a child with disabilities,” she says. “I was born 2 1/2 months early, weighed 3 lbs 2 oz, had dislocated hips and club feet. I had to wear casts on my feet, a harness and eventually a body cast. The abortion still affects me today.”
That said, Culwell makes it clear, “Life is still worth it!”
“If my life can touch just one person who has had an abortion or considering an abortion or adoption, then I am fulfilling my purpose in the pro-life movement,” she concludes.
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Shawn Carney, Co-founder 40 Days for Life, has talked about the impact Claire and her story has had on others who have seen her speak at pro-life events.
“Everyone needs to hear Claire’s story,” he said. “Often times at pro-life events or banquets we can forget who is at stake in abortion. Claire’s passion reminds the audience that every life lost due to abortion cannot be taken back but every life saved from abortion is a profound witness of God’s hope and love for every human life.”
Read a recent interview with Claire here.