Discovering you survived an abortion, but lost your twin: Claire Culwell
February 19, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) - Imagine the shock of learning your birth mother had tried to abort you, but the procedure failed. Now try to imagine the heartbreak of learning your twin wasn’t so fortunate and was killed by the abortion. That is what Claire Culwell learned the second time she talked with her birth mother.
Culwell had grown up in a Christian home knowing she was adopted, but so grateful that her birth mother chose life. Abortion wasn’t discussed often while she was growing up, but her family emphasized the value of life. Culwell recalls thinking abortion would be something she wouldn’t ever have to face in her family or her life.
“I can remember thinking about abortion just growing up. I thought nobody in my family will ever be affected by that. And I was very wrong.”
In today’s episode of The Van Maren Show, Jonathon Van Maren sits down with abortion survivor Claire Culwell to discuss her experiences and her pro-life activism. Culwell is an outspoken pro-life advocate and brings a face to the millions of babies lost to abortion. Culwell was featured in the Faces of Choice Ad, asking choice advocates if they can look the survivors in the eyes and tell them they are better off dead.
After learning about her twin and her survival, Culwell’s life changed forever. She calls it, “the most defining moment of my entire life.”
Culwell shares the deep pain she saw in her birth mothers' eyes when she told Culwell she had something she needed to tell her. It was a deep pain that pierced Culwell’s soul and is something she will never forget.
Watch the full episode here:
Culwell’s mother was 13-years-old when she discovered she was pregnant. When she told her own mother, she was told she would be taken for an abortion. She was 20 weeks pregnant. No one gave her an alternative option, and everyone told her this would make everything better. It didn’t.
Around 30 weeks, she told her mom she still felt pregnant. She returned to the doctor and Claire was born. The abortionist had miraculously missed killing Claire at the first abortion appointment, not realizing there were twins.
Culwell was born with club feet and with a displaced hip from her premature birth and the botched abortion. Culwell calls these, “my daily reminders of being a twin and of being an abortion survivor.”
In the moment, Culwell focused on the deep pain she saw in her birth mother as she shared the story of Culwell’s birth with her. It wasn’t until she had time to process and reflect upon her mother’s words that she began to realize what this meant for her.
This news came as a great surprise to Culwell’s adopted family. They didn’t know anything about Culwell’s birth or her birth mother.
She began to reflect upon the fact that she wasn’t supposed to be born and that she had missed out on a relationship with her twin. Culwell realized God had spared her life for a reason and a purpose.
“It was okay that things weren't perfect because something beautiful could come out of something that was meant for our evil, something that was meant to take my life.”
Culwell realized she had to get off the ‘sidelines’ and start actively fighting to stop the evils of abortion that were affecting people in her own community, church, and family.
The first time Culwell shared her story, she spoke to a group of high schoolers at a community youth group. Speaking was outside of her comfort zone, but she saw the ‘lightbulbs going off’ as the kids realized unborn children grow up to another person just like me. Seeing the impact her testimony had on these kids inspired her to continue speaking and she hasn’t looked back since.
Culwell was going to school at College Station and became connected with Abby Johnson after sharing her story. She traveled with Johnson for her first year of speaking and continued to share her story and give a face to the unborn children lost to abortion.
Listen to the full episode here:
Since then, Culwell has gone on to speak and inspire hundreds of thousands around the world. She does 20 to 30 speaking engagements a year, has four wonderful children, three of which are adopted, and is a living witness to the beauty of life and the face of choice.
Culwell reminds all listeners that there is healing from abortion. If you or a loved one has been impacted by abortion, she encourages you to reach out and start the healing process. She also encourages others to get off the sidelines and get involved. Whatever your excuse is for not answering the call, remember that millions of lives are lost every year. No excuse is worth more than saving a life.
Culwell ends the interview with Van Maren by reminding people to understand that women who have had abortions are people too, and they are hurting tremendously. Our first response as pro-lifers must be one of love, not judgement for these women.
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