January 11, 2011 ( – Claire Culwell says that when she went to visit her birth mother for the first time, she offered her a card that said “thank you for choosing life for me.”

Culwell, now 21, had been raised in a pro-life and Christian home after being given up for adoption, and wanted to express her gratitude to her biological mother for having brought her into the world.  Although her mother cried tears of joy at their meeting, the words on the card provoked a different reaction than the one Culwell had expected.

“What were very happy tears began to turn into very sad tears as well,” Culwell says.  Her mother then explained to her the circumstances of her birth: she had survived an attempted abortion, an abortion that had ended the life of her twin sister.

Culwell recounts her story in a Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) interview, in which she explains that her mother was impregnated at the age of 13, and taken by her mother to an abortion clinic, where the deadly procedure was carried out at five months of gestation.

(To watch the CBN interview with Culwell, click here.)

However, Culwell says, after a month it remained clear that her mother had not returned to normal.  After consulting again with the abortionist, she was told that she had twins, and that only one had died in the abortion.  Two weeks later, she gave birth to Culwell.

Culwell now talks about her experiences as an abortion survivor to churches and other groups, and says she speaks “in honor” of her twin sister who did not survive.

“Many have said, aren’t you angry, aren’t you upset, and I say ‘no,’ because my birth mother is probably my biggest hero because she didn’t have to tell me, and through her courage and through her strength and her selflessness, people’s lives are being changed,” Culwell told CBN.

“Abortion doesn’t just affect one person. It’s a domino effect. And even though that happened it has turned into something so beautiful,” she adds. “God has really taught me to rely on him, that this is not about me, its about Him, its about his grace, and its about his amazing gift of life that he has given us.  Even though life looks like a given, because we all have it, it is a gift. He is able to speak through my story and through my birth mother’s story, through my parents’ story, and share that gift with the world.”