Abortion Survivor Hopes Her Story Spurs Support for Mothers in Need

Culwell, who regularly speaks on abortion at public events, was adopted and did not know her birth story until she was in college.

Claire Culwell
Claire Culwell (photo: Pro-Life Weekly / EWTN)

WASHINGTON — An abortion survivor hopes that her story of life will help people be “the hands and feet of Jesus” to women in need.

Claire Culwell, who survived an abortion attempt, authored the forthcoming book telling her life story, Survivor: An Abortion Survivor’s Surprising Story of Choosing Forgiveness and Finding Redemption.

“My hope is that as people read this book, they will know what abortion is, they will know what it does, and they will act on being the hands and feet of Jesus, being that support system for women,” Culwell said on EWTN Pro-Life Weekly, in an interview that will air on Thursday night.

Culwell, who regularly speaks on abortion at public events, was adopted and did not know her birth story until she was in college. She met with her biological mother for only the second time when she received news that would change her life.

Culwell had presented her mother with a ring, a necklace, and a card thanking her for “choosing life.”

“And she said ‘Claire, there’s something I need to tell you,’” Culwell recounted to EWTN Pro-Life Weekly. “She said, ‘Your life is a miracle. Because I had an abortion when I was pregnant with you at 13 years old.”

Culwell’s mother was pregnant with twins and had undergone a dilation and evacuation “D&E” abortion, a common second-trimester abortion that results in the dismemberment of the child. After several weeks, her mother returned to the doctor complaining that she did not feel normal.

She was told that she had twins, and that only one of the twins had been aborted.

When Culwell received the news from her mother, “it felt like the room was spinning out of control, I couldn’t believe the words that were coming out of her mouth,” she told EWTN Pro-Life Weekly.

“But I saw her tears,” she added, noting that she forgave her mother for the abortion attempt.

“I can grapple all day with the fact that my life was spared and my twin’s wasn’t, and what am I missing, and I’ll never understand,” she told EWTN Pro-Life Weekly. “The only person that understands is the God that wrote this story for me, and He wrote it perfectly, and I can trust in that.”

Culwell has chronicled her story in her book Survivor, which will be released on April 27.

Now she speaks out about abortion, including testifying before members of the Kentucky state legislature on a proposed “heartbeat” abortion ban in 2019, and testifying before members of the Texas state legislature on a bill requiring care for abortion survivors.

“After finding out I’d survived an abortion, I developed an interest in pro-life issues. And in time that interest grew and grew,” she told EWTN Pro-Life Weekly.

“Soon, I began telling my story to small groups at schools and churches near me – a major accomplishment for one of the world’s quietest introverts. And eventually, telling my life story would become my calling,” she said.

She said that her story has touched the hearts of many people.

“People come up to me all the time and they’re like ‘Claire, because of you, because of the way that you have been able to forgive, because of the way that you shared that God has forgiven you and has forgiven your birth mother, I believe now that my child forgives me, that my God forgives me,” she said.