Recently I had the privilege of hearing Claire Culwell, an abortion survivor, speak at the University of Louisville. How can someone survive an abortion you may ask? Excellent question! Claire’s story is a sobering, yet redemptive account. Claire’s biological mother was 13 when she became pregnant. Her mother marched her to an abortion clinic where she had the abortion. A few weeks later, her friend advised her to see a doctor because it appeared she was still pregnant. When Claire’s biological mother did seek a doctor’s care she received shocking news. Her abortion had been successful. But, she was still pregnant. You see, she had been pregnant with twins. One was aborted, the other survived.
An out-of-state late-term abortion was sought. There, it was determined that since the first abortion, Claire’s mother had been leaking amniotic fluid. A second abortion was out of the question. Two weeks later she gave birth to Claire 2 1/2 months early. Claire weighed 3 1/2 pounds. Her hips were dislocated from the abortion and her feet were turned in. She was placed for adoption, but had to stay in the hospital for 2 months with a body cast and harness.
Claire was adopted by a loving Christian couple, who didn’t mind taking a risk on a baby with serious health concerns. Her adoptive parents are on staff with CRU (formally Campus Crusade for Christ) and Claire grew up with an adopted sister in a loving Christian home. She found the truth of her story about a year and a half ago, when she began to make contact with her biological mother. Her biological mother had never told anyone about her story, until she met Claire and felt compelled to share the truth with her. It was then that Claire learned the details surrounding her birth, and that her aborted twin had been a boy. In other words, it was her twin brother who did not survive the abortion.
Claire ultimately gave glory to God for His mercy over her life during her talk. She pointed out that all people are made in God’s image and this is what gives them value. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Gen 1:27). When men or women say they can decide who lives and who dies, they are going against this truth, and destroying image-bearers of God who have value and worth.
Though Claire’s physical state has had complications–her life is certainly a miracle! Claire is now 23 years old. She has studied nursing and cared for persons with physical and mental disabilities. She will be married in a few months and become a mother to 3 small children. Her life is full of lives she has touched and affected. None of these things could have happened if the abortion had been sucessful. Claire’s life mattered. Her life mattered when she was inside her mother’s womb, it mattered when she was born, and it matters now.
I was so glad to attend Claire’s talk and I encourage you to read or watch more of her story at her website:http://claireculwell.com/
Sadly, Claire is not alone in being an abortion survivor. I’d encourage you to read other accounts of abortion survivors listed below:
Sarah Smith (twin abortion survivor)
Ana Rosa Rodriguez (born in 1991, lost an arm due to abortion procedure)
Brandi Lozier <!–Childs View > Humanity > Terminology > Alive, Human, Fetus, Viability, Quickening–>