Note: Claire will be speaking at the upcoming National Pro-Life Conference in Toronto, which starts Oct. 25. Click here for more info.

15 October, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Claire Culwell was living what she thought was a normal teenage life in the home of her adopted Christian parents when she decided that the time had come to connect with her birth mother.

What Claire discovered from her biological mother rocked her world, changing her life forever.

Claire heard how her mother had been forced to abort at the age of 13, after five months of pregnancy. Claire heard how she inexplicably survived the surgical abortion, but that her twin sister did not.

She also heard how a few weeks later, her mother was brought back to the same abortion clinic to have the botched job finished, but that the doctor refused to perform what would now be classified as a late-term abortion. Claire heard how she had been born two weeks after the scheduled abortion, weighing a mere three pounds.

Claire now understood why so many health issues had constantly plagued her. She heard how the attempt on her life through abortion had left its mark on her, dislocating her hips, giving her club feet, and inflicting other injuries on her. The injuries still manifest themselves to this day, but now Claire says that they remind her that her life is a miracle.

“I know that I could have been very angry and upset about this, or I could do the opposite,” Claire told LifeSiteNews in an interview from her home in Austin, Texas.

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“My mother was a 13-year-old whose mother was making decisions for her. When I think back to when I was 13, I know that if my parents had said that the ‘best thing’ for me was to ‘have an abortion’, I would have trusted their wisdom 100 percent. I know that if I was in her shoes, with my mother telling me to abort, I would have done the same thing. When I realized that ‘Wow, I would have done the same thing’ it was very humbling for me. It was part of my own healing and forgiveness process.”

Claire credits her Christian upbringing for allowing her to receive her birth mother’s disturbing information with “grace and love and mercy.” She found herself moved to compassion for her mother after hearing how much anguish, remorse, and regret she herself had suffered from the abortion experience.

“My mother will tell you till this day that if there was one thing that put her life on hold, affected it, and made her life spiral downward, it was her abortion.”

Claire’s mother told her that she “never wanted a young girl to go through what she went through”.

The words inspired Claire to speak out against abortion by sharing the story of her life.

“I knew I couldn’t be quiet about abortion after what my mother told me,” she said. 

Claire, now 24, has made it her mission to share her story as a pro-life advocate and international speaker. She hopes to save lives by changing people’s minds and hearts on abortion. Her story has been showcased on ABC Family’s The 700 Club and EWTN.

Participants at the upcoming National Pro-Life Conference in Toronto are looking forward to hearing first hand the dramatic testimony and pro-life witness of the abortion survivor.

The conference, which begins Thursday, October 25, includes entertainment by internationally renowned Catholic composer Eric Genuis, talks by Margaret Somerville, MP Stephen Woodworth, MP Brad Trost, Campaign Life Collation president Jim Hughes, Women’s Rights Without Frontiers president Reggi Littlejohn, and many others.

Despite identifying herself as an “introvert”, Claire says that getting out of one’s “comfort zone” is the only way to change minds and hearts on abortion.

“When we do things that are 100 percent out of our comfort zone but let God come in and do the work, that’s when lives are changed.”

Click here for more info and to register for the National Pro-life Conference.