Claire Culwell survived an abortion attempt inside her mother’s womb but her unborn twin brother did not.
Now, she travels around the world sharing the tragedy that took her brother’s life and nearly her own.
Donegal Now reports Culwell is slated to speak in Ireland next week as the country considers whether to retain its pro-life Eighth Amendment or to repeal it and legalize abortion on demand.
“I want to encourage women to seek alternatives to abortion because I would never want any woman 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,” Culwell told the news outlet.
Culwell was adopted after she survived the abortion attempt. Later, she learned that her birth mother had been just 13 when she got pregnant and was pressured into aborting her and her brother.
“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.
“An accidental or unwanted child still deserves life, even a child with disabilities. I was born two and half months early, weighed 3 lbs 2oz, 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,” she continued.
It still affects her mother, too. Culwell said she asked her birth mother’s permission before she began sharing their story, but only recently did her mother forgive herself and begin to heal.
“She looked over at me and said, ‘Thank you. Thank you for giving me a voice because now I feel free,’” Culwell said.
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In a 2016 interview, her birth mother 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.