How does one face an unexpected pregnancy? Many women, especially if they are younger, do not fully consider all of their options. In a local newspaper article, abortion survivor Claire Culwell is sharing her story of love and compassion, to “show someone considering abortion the other side of it.”

Claire is now a motivational and inspirational speaker, using her own testimony to show how a decision can change a life.

Claire’s biological mother became pregnant when she was 13 years old and was forced to have an abortion at five months. A month later she knew something wasn’t right and went back to the doctor. She then found out that she had been pregnant with twins in two separate amniotic sacs and only one had been aborted. Unfortunately, the other sac had been damaged in the abortion and was leaking amniotic fluid.  To do an abortion under those conditions could be deadly to the mother, so the young woman was ordered to bed rest until the baby could be delivered. Claire was born shortly thereafter, two and a half months early, and her mother placed her for adoption.

As a result of issues caused by the abortion, Claire had many medical issues at birth. She was on life support for two months and in a body cast for the first two years of her life. Claire stated that she wasn’t supposed to walk or talk, but instead has overcome all her medical issues, and is even a mother herself now.

She wants to use her story to give hope and encouragement to others. She states, “Abortion has a domino effect, but it goes even further. I’m a mother. I look at my daughter and think if that abortion had been successful on my life, my little girl wouldn’t be here.” In 2009, her biological mother contacted the adoption agency and a meeting was arranged between Claire and her biological family. When they met, Claire gave her biological mother a note, “Thank you for choosing life for me.  That’s the greatest gift I’ve ever received.”

Claire is sharing her story to encourage other pregnant women to explore all their options.  There are wonderful centers that offer counseling and support. Also, an article on Adoption.com provides resources available when choosing adoption for your baby. The article states, “Arming yourself with information about your options is the first step in empowering yourself to make an informed and well-thought-out decision regarding your future – and the future of your unborn baby.”

Claire’s story is truly one of love and thanksgiving.