I Was Born Alive at 26 Weeks and the Abortionist Wanted to Kill Me, But Something Amazing Happened

Opinion   |   Sarah Zagorski   |   Apr 24, 2015   |   11:25AM   |   Washington, DC

This is a story I would rather not tell. If I could, I would hide it away in my memory bank forever. However, I know it needs to be told it because it is the truth. And truth, these days, is very unpopular.

I was unwanted. My biological mother had a beautiful heart but a terribly confused mind. She suffered from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, which made functioning nearly impossible. When she was pregnant with me, she already was a mother of seven and lived in poverty. It would even be correct to say she was unfit to have another child. The situation she found herself in was complicated; it wasn’t black and white. To make matters worse, my biological father did not want me. He already had a separate family and a medical career. He told her to have an abortion. Wouldn’t an abortion make sense? Our “pro-choice” society would say so. Let’s explore why.

If I had been allowed to be born, I would suffer greatly. I would suffer from poverty, neglect and abuse of all kinds. I probably wouldn’t amount to much and my days would be filled with tragedy. How could hope invade a situation like that? Let’s be honest: No one would want a child from a family with that history. My future appeared bleak, right?

Looking back now at age 25, I’ll admit to you, some of this proved true. But I’m here, and the story I’m about to tell you is one of hope.

My mother’s pregnancy with me was difficult, both physically and emotionally. She was conflicted when it came to the issue of abortion. In the past, she had abortions and experienced deep regret. But she found herself in a place many women find themselves, afraid and confused. She decided to go to an abortionist in town because she was told he was a “cheap doctor” and that he could help her. To this day, I do not know if she intended to have an abortion or if she was simply seeking medical help; but I do know it wasn’t the abortionist’s intention to let me live.

He induced labor and delivered me at six and a half months (twenty six weeks), breech, and when I was born I wasn’t breathing. He proceeded to tell my mother that if I survived, I would be a mental vegetable and incapable of having a normal life. Then he said it would simply be best to let me die. In those few seconds, he held my life in his hands and believed that he had the right to decide my fate.

But to the abortion industry’s disadvantage, my mother said no. Once she saw my humanity, she couldn’t allow the abortionist to leave me for dead. My mother demanded that I receive immediate medical attention, and I was rushed to a children’s trauma birth ward in New Orleans where I stayed until I was strong enough to go home. However, this was only the beginning of a very challenging road.

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I wasn’t home too long before the Department of Children and Family Services began investigating my family. Social workers would drop by to find empty pantries, broken furniture, and absent parents. Because of the deplorable conditions, the youngest children, including me, were placed into foster care.

I was only sixteen months old when I met my foster parents, Ron and Bobbie Jones. They had no children of their own and desired to be parents. While I was too young to be diagnosed with a mental illness, my social workers warned them to expect it given my family’s medical history. They were told I would be in their custody for 6-8 months, but in reality, they could get a call to return me to by birth family at any time. They didn’t care. They wanted me. They were in it for the long haul. Little did I know then, but this couple would save my life.

A premature birth, coupled with extreme neglect, led me to be a sickly child, even to the point of contracting tuberculosis. Without treatment, it could have been fatal. Fortunately, my foster parents gave me their undivided attention and tended to my every need. Thanks to them, I escaped death once again. Despite the severity of the illness, I believe God used it for good because it allowed me to stay in foster care with the Jones’ longer than expected.

But with improved health at the Jones’ home came the call they dreaded: I was to be returned to my biological family. While my foster parents were very concerned about my safety, I was excited. No matter what anyone may tell you, children will always love their biological family, regardless of how dangerous the situation. Sadly, even though I felt a deep love for my family, those were the darkest days of my life.

In my biological home, food was scarce. I would consider myself lucky to get a few bites of anything. Since I was only four years old, even when food was available it was taken from me. This was because I wasn’t the only one starving. My older siblings were stronger and faster than me. But I would grab whatever food I could find, hide in the bathroom with a few of my younger siblings, and hope for the best. Even if the food was dirty or infested by insects I would eat it and I did this on a daily basis.

In my home, simply making it through the day was a fight: a fight for safety and a fight to survive. I spent most of my days in a room that resembled a cold and dark garage. I can still feel the icy floor against my back and smell the urine that permeated the space. This room was a place I had nightmares about for nearly a decade. My abusers would take me there to be the object of their so-called games. Sometimes the game was to see if I could survive being beaten into the night while being sleep deprived, and tied to a wall. Other times it was simple to satisfy some sick fixation they had with little children. Either way, I never wanted to “play” and the only way for me to survive was to hide, or if caught, dissociate quickly. For any child, this would be a living nightmare.

To make myself feel better, I clung to a few toys that I brought back from my foster family, including a bright orange “kiddy” slide that I loved. But to my dismay, it quickly turned into my older siblings’ target for knife throwing practice.

If I said my story was one of hope, why am I sharing all these messy, uncomfortable details? Because the abortion industry makes millions off of families like mine; they sell hurting women a lie that somehow killing their child would be better than the pain they would face in this world.

How many times have you heard the stale mantra of the abortion industry, “Every child a wanted child?” The truth they hide in these words is that unwanted children, like I clearly was, should be killed. They eliminate any hope of change, perseverance, or determination.

Without a doubt, I was not only unwanted, but my mother literally couldn’t care for me. This was a fact and one that I cannot overlook. Starvation, abuse, and neglect were not abstract concepts to me or to my family. They were very real and have taken me many years to recover from, but these circumstances were temporary.

You see there is one big flaw in “choice” ideology: no matter the circumstances, playing God with a person’s life should never be an option. We should never close the door on what can come from an unfortunate situation.


Eventually, I did return to foster care with Ron and Bobbie. After more years of back and forth between my foster parents and biological parents, I sat in a courtroom at the tender age of nine. Just like it was yesterday, I remember the judge asking me the most pivotal question of my early life: “Who did I want to live with?” I pointed at Ron and Bobbie Jones. After seven and a half years, my mother’s parental rights were terminated by the state and I was released for adoption to the same family that took me into foster care when I was sixteen months old. They committed to be my parents forever, and I am honored today to call them mom and dad.

Through God’s providence, Ron and Bobbie Jones handed me a miracle. They gave me a loving family, a chance to heal from the past, a relationship with Jesus Christ, an education, and a future full of hope. Although it has not been easy, I am blessed to have a beautiful life. I got married in 2011 and graduated from college in 2012. I am very close with my adopted family, as well as a few members of my birth family. Unfortunately, in 2010 my birth mother passed away but prior to her death, we were able to establish a relationship.

If the logic of the abortion industry won out, hope for a brighter day would have been destroyed. If my biological mother allowed an abortionist to decide my fate, my future would have been denied.

Even though I was unwanted, I am no longer.

Authors Note: Thank You to Louisiana Right to Life’s Executive Director, Benjamin Clapper for editing this piece and helping me find the courage to tell it.