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Six Real Lives to Inspire the Growing Pro-Life Movement - Moms for America Newsletter Blog

MFA Weekly Newsletter

Six Real Lives to Inspire the Growing Pro-Life Movement - Moms for America Newsletter Blog
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Mar 17, 2024

6 Real Lives to Inspire the Growing Pro-Life Movement


It can feel in short supply these days. Especially when it comes to an issue as hotly debated as abortion. It’s an intense firefight, with screamed slogans, waving signs, and emotions running high as theoretical situations are hurled into the narrative to characterize the question of life.

“What about rape?”

“What about the life of the mother?”

“Did you know that you may not be able to get an abortion if you have an ectopic pregnancy? You could DIE!”

You’ve heard these and probably more as if they were central to the debate. They aren’t. And that last one is ludicrous. No state has ruled that a mother at risk can’t have an abortion to save her life. Check your facts.

The pro-abortion movement only works if you leave a few things out and spin other things up. All of those questions are used to divert attention from the point.

The point is life.

The point is hope.

We’ve shared some facts about the issue and how the overturning of Roe v. Wade has affected our nation; however, for now – let’s focus on hope.

Nothing illustrates that bright aspiration better than the stories of six real lives to inspire the growing pro-life movement. Enjoy these hope-filled accounts of those saved – in different ways – from the tragedy of abortion.

1. Claire Culwell – A Survivor’s Story

As a little girl, Claire never imagined her future life’s connection with the pro-life movement. She knew she was adopted, was well-loved, and thriving in her family. When Claire came of age, she decided to seek out her birth mom to thank her.

When she finally made arrangements to meet Tonya Glasby for the first time, both were amazed to see how much they looked like each other, shared other similarities, and were both pursuing nursing careers. It was the second get-together when things took a turn.

Claire presented her mom with a beautiful ring and necklace with her birthstone and a note that read, “Thank you for choosing life for me.” As Tonya read those words, the initial tearful joy at receiving such a gift quickly faded into remorseful tears of grief. It was at that moment Tonya told Claire the difficult truth.

Pregnant at just 13, Tanya had been forced by her mother to seek abortion. A D & E (dilation and evacuation) abortion had been performed successfully – but not completely. It turns out Claire had a twin who had been aborted at that appointment, but weeks later, Tonya realized she was still pregnant, and it was too late for an abortion. The result was Claire, a tiny, beautiful baby, lovingly adopted despite her low birth weight and other medical complications.

When she learned her story, Claire was stunned to discover she was a twin and that she had survived the horror of a botched abortion. She was also grateful, though, filled with forgiveness for her mom, and now they are fast friends. You can read more of the story in her book, Survivor: An Abortion Survivor’s Surprising Story of Choosing Forgiveness and Finding Redemption.1

Often, the debate doesn’t consider the survivors of abortion. Are you surprised to know that according to the Abortion Survivors Network, an estimate of nearly 86,000 babies have been born living after failed abortion attempts since 1973? 2

3. RaeLynn – A Beautiful Choice

Award-winning country artist and recent Moms for America Mothers of Influence Award recipient RaeLynn is not shy about sharing her heart and speaking her mind through music.

She unapologetically tackled the issue of life head-on with her beautiful ballad “She Chose Me,” written about her own mom’s struggle with an unplanned pregnancy. With four children already and a looming possibility of divorce, when her mom discovered she was pregnant again, it all seemed too much. She made an appointment for an abortion. Thankfully, she didn’t go through with it and chose life for her little baby, RaeLynn, who would grow up to touch the world with her inspiring music and captivating talent.

RaeLynn shared how she felt when she learned that she was nearly aborted. “That was really hard for me to hear at first. Because you hear about abortion and a woman’s right to choose…I always respect peoples’ views on things, but I also think it’s important to understand there’s a life behind that decision.”

The chorus of “She Chose Me” best explains her mother’s beautiful decision:

“If it went the other way, nobody would have blamed her
Think of all the small-town talk; it would have saved her
She could have chosen one quick fix
To get her out of one big mess

She could’ve tied a different ribbon to the ending of the story
Could have kept her secret, gotten out before it
Changed her life; she could’ve changed her mind and changed everything
But she chose me.”
(Written by: Stephen Garrett, Jonathan Rotem, James Scheffer)

On this week’s podcast, RaeLynn shared about that special song, her music, career, and family life as an Army wife and mom.

3. Kathy Barnette – Beyond the Exception

So many view pro-life simply as being anti-abortion, except in cases of rape. It’s neat and tied up. But what about the exceptions. Each represents a little life, unprotected, because of something out of their control – how they were conceived.

An advocate for life, Kathy Barnette is a well-known TV and radio commentator, author, veteran, and politician – and someone who was conceived through rape.

It was early 1971 when Kathy’s mom, only 11, was sexually assaulted by a 21-year-old man. Pregnant, the young girl was supported by her mother and gave birth to Kathy. She grew up unaware of the traumatic story of her conception. Then, as she prepared for college and joined the Army Reserves, she discovered that the name on her birth certificate differed from the name she’d known all her life. Studying the document, she also took note of her mom’s extremely young age.

Her mother recalled of that time, “That [abortion] wasn’t a choice for me, and I thank God it wasn’t a choice for me.”

Kathy added, “As a Christian, I believe in the value of life, that when I was in my mother’s womb, He was knitting me. Even among Christians, even among staunch conservatives, an exception to the rule of being pro-life for many is in the case of rape. And yet, my life has value. From me have come two very beautiful and charming and smart kids. Married to a wonderful husband, we’ve made a life for ourselves, and none of this would’ve been possible if the exception to the rule had been applied.”

“Aborting me would not have eased the trauma that my mother suffered,” she contends. “Aborting me would not have allowed me to be in a place today where I can now take care of my mother.” 3

Most would agree the question of rape or incest is extremely difficult. However, at the end of the day, there is an innocent baby whose life hangs in the balance. Kathy would likely call herself blessed to have been given life, beyond the exception, through the overcoming courage and love of a very young, traumatized girl.

4. Rebecca Hagan – A Dramatic Change of Heart

Did you ever want to skip to the last page of a book to see how things turned out?

Let’s do it!

Zachariah is probably around ten years old now after his mom was one of the early recipients of an abortion reversal.

Since the demise of Roe v. Wade, the popularity and availability of the abortion pill has grown exponentially. Just over a decade ago, however, the deadly pill was also available and was taken by Zach’s mom, Rebecca Hagan.

She was just a freshman in college when she decided to terminate her pregnancy, fearing rejection from her Christian parents and the hardship of having a child at her stage of life. She was given a chemical abortion, which she saw as a “quick fix.” What could be easier than taking a few pills? It seemed like the perfect out.

Shortly after taking the first pill, Mifeprex, Rebecca panicked. In fact, she changed her mind while still in the parking lot of Planned Parenthood. “I no longer felt relief. Instead, I felt guilt, trauma, and I was sad, and I was remorseful, and I was deeply regretting the decision to have an abortion,” Rebecca explained in an interview with Fox 11 Los Angeles.

She discovered an option for reversal of the abortion-inducing drug, which involves replacing the natural progesterone. This needed pregnancy hormone is blocked by the first pill. It was an early success story for that reversal procedure – and you already know the rest of her story – and that of little Zachariah.4

To date, thousands of babies have been saved through this reversal, but not everyone is happy about those children. Colorado Governor Jared Polis has attempted to ban the reversal treatment – taking away a woman’s right to change her mind. So much for the “pro-choice” crowd. Sad.

5. Melissa Ohden – A Heroic Rescue

It was 1977, Melissa’s mom was in college and found herself pregnant. She was forced by her mother, a prominent nurse in the medical community, with the help of a local abortionist, to undergo a saline abortion. In that procedure, some of the amniotic fluid is removed from the womb and replaced with a solution that is toxic to the child. It usually takes about three days to make sure it has had its full effect, and then the mother delivers a deceased baby.

In Melissa’s case, as a preborn baby, she was in that deadly fluid for five days before induced labor brought her into the world. She was alive, just over two pounds, and struggling with jaundice and respiratory issues. She had been placed on a table in another room, cold, gasping for breath. According to Melissa, it was her own grandmother who insisted that she be left there to die. Another nurse risked her career and brought the tiny newborn to the neonatal intensive care unit for life-saving treatment.

Melissa was adopted and had a happy childhood, knowing nothing of her background until the age of 14. Likewise, Melissa’s mom never knew that her baby survived. She was never allowed to see her and wasn’t even told if it was a boy or a girl. That made their reunion in 2013, more than 35 years later, all the more moving. The two have become close, even living in the same community.5

There are so many voices in the battle between the Pro-life and Pro-choice movements. However, the issue is much simpler for someone with Melissa’s experience, as she noted, “Isn’t there something wrong when one person’s decision results in another person’s death?”

6. Courtney Baker – A Letter of Love and Life

When Courtney was pregnant with her third child, she received the news that her little one had Down’s Syndrome. Her doctor immediately laid out her options, including terminating the pregnancy. He expressed that a child with that disorder would have a diminished quality of life and would affect the entire family with hardship and difficulty. Courtney and her husband immediately chose life for their baby and rejected the recommendation.

The next few weeks, she sunk into a depression over the diagnosis. Even so, the couple remained committed to their little one and named her Emersyn. The topic of aborting the child was brought up repeatedly and in different ways. “The only way I can describe how we felt was bullied. Every time he [the doctor] gave us bad news, it was like he did it with glee. It was so bizarre that we would leave there dumbfounded. And I remember the last time we went, he told us that she had clubbed feet, and he, like, giggled.”

Despite the pressure, fear, and concerns, Courtney, her husband, and two daughters welcomed their third little girl into the world. She has become a champion of children with Down Syndrome – celebrating their value, beauty, and joy.

In response to the discouraging experience with her doctor, Courtney wrote a letter hoping he might consider a different approach with other moms in the future. It reads, in part:

“I’m not angry. I’m not bitter. I’m really just sad. I’m sad the tiny beating hearts you see every day don’t fill you with a perpetual awe. I’m sad the intricate details and the miracle of those sweet little fingers and toes, lungs and eyes and ears don’t always give you pause. I’m sad you were so very wrong to say a baby with Down Syndrome would decrease our quality of life. And I’m heartbroken you might have said that to a mommy even today. But I’m mostly sad you’ll never have the privilege of knowing my daughter, Emersyn.” 6

These and the thousands of other stories ARE the point.

Life is precious. Period.

More hope: Far from the false characterization of those who accuse the pro-life community of being pro-baby but not pro-life, champions for the sanctity of human life are growing in number and effective care for moms, dads, and their little ones. Jeanne Mancini, President of March For Life, shared during a recent interview on CBN News that 3400 pregnancy care centers and maternity homes exist throughout our nation. Through those organizations, there has been support for women with unplanned pregnancies to the tune of 358 million dollars worth of resources like healthcare, education, housing, food, formula, diapers, clothing, and other needs.7

Every life matters. Each has intrinsic value. As moms, together with thousands of others dedicated to upholding the God-given, unquestionable sanctity of life- we can agree with the sentiment that “abortion is the taking of innocent life. It shouldn’t just be illegal – it should be unthinkable.”

1 focusonthefamily.com – Claire Culwell

2 abortionsurvivors.org

3 liveaction.org – Kathy Barnette

4 youtube.com – Fox 11 Los Angeles, Rebecca Hagan

5 youtube.com – Melissa Ohden

6 liveaction.org – Courtney Baker

7 cbn.com – Jeanne Mancini