Ahead of a vote on whether to legalize abortion, Irish voters heard the devastating effects of abortion from a unique perspective: a child who survived one.
Now an adult, American Claire Culwell travels around the world to share her traumatic story.
The Christian Institute reports Culwell explained how her birth mother, Tonya, was just 13 when she became pregnant. At five months of pregnancy, Tonya’s mother, Culwell’s grandmother, took her daughter to get an abortion.
The young woman said when she met her birth mother several years ago, Tonya told her that she was “heartbroken” about having an abortion; but her mother told her “to get rid of the baby.”
Culwell’s twin brother died in an abortion that day, but she remained in the womb, undetected, according to the report. Two weeks later, she was born prematurely.
Here’s more from the report:
Tonya took care of Clare for two days, before leaving her in the hospital.
Claire said: “I stayed at the hospital until my adoptive parents picked me up at two and a half months old. I was just five pounds.”
Claire explained that it was “very hard” for Tonya at the time.
“She said she wishes there had been a place back then, maybe a home that could have helped her learn how to be a mom so she could have kept her baby.”
“One of us was aborted, one of us survived,” Culwell said. “I’m a survivor of abortion. My life is a testimony that there are wonderful alternatives to abortion, such as adoption in my case.”
Culwell said she understands the devastating impact of abortion when she talks with her birth mother and when she looks at her daughter.
“I look at my daughter often and think, if that abortion had taken my life, my little girl wouldn’t be here,” she said. “I truly believe that women, men, families and children deserve better.”
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In a 2016 interview, her birth mother, Tonya, said she hopes their story will save lives.
“If I could touch one girl to know that she has a choice to not have that abortion and to give that baby up, then everything would be worth it,” her birth mother said.
Pro-lifers estimate that the Eighth Amendment of the Irish Constitution has saved approximately 100,000 unborn babies’ lives from abortion.
If repealed, lawmakers will consider a bill to legalize abortion for any reason up to 12 weeks of pregnancy and even later in a broad range of circumstances.