Between the months of September 1975 and January 1976, this woman had three therapeutic abortions in an attempt to rid herself of the unborn baby. These abortions, also known as a "salting out procedure" are performed by injecting a very large syringe into the woman's abdomen, removing a certain amount of amniotic fluid out of the womb, and then injecting three times the amount of saline back in, thus "burning" the baby out. For reasons only God knows, these abortions did not take and on April 21, 1976, two months premature, her baby was born. The child was perfect and healthy, weighing four pounds, five ounces.
Unfortunately on March 16, 1977, the mother passed away, less than a year after her baby girl was born. After the woman's death, the infant's father and paternal grandmother took custody of the baby and her two brothers. As this baby girl grew up, her father told her about the three abortions she had undergone in her mother's womb but this little girl never believed him, as she assumed that if a baby is aborted, he or she could not possibly survive.
The truth only came to this girl when she was eighteen years old, married, and approximately five months pregnant with her first child. This girl needed and soon obtained her mother's medical records from the hospital that had treated her. Imagine her utter shock as she read about how her mother tried to terminate her unborn child three times. As the young girl read the medical documents, the new life inside of her was stirring and kicking as if to say "Mommy please don't get any ideas."
Today this young woman is 25 years old and is raising a family of her own. She is healthy and normal in every way, with no physical deformities of any kind.
I am the child that I have been writing about. My mother had no right to try and abort me, no matter what the circumstances were, no matter how inconvenient her pregnancy was. And if she was here with us today, I'm sure she would agree. Life is too precious to simply throw away. Now I can speak out against abortion from the baby's perspective. Any baby would choose life.
Testimony of abortion survivor Gianna Jessen before the Constitution Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee on April 22, 1996.
My name is Gianna Jessen. I am 19 years of age. I am originally from California, but now reside in Franklin, Tennessee. I am adopted. I have cerebral palsy. My biological mother was 17 years old and seven and one-half months pregnant when she made the decision to have a saline abortion. I am the person she aborted. I lived instead of died.
Fortunately for me the abortionist was not in the clinic when I arrived alive, instead of dead, at 6:00 a.m. on the morning of April 6, 1977. I was early, my death was not expected to be seen until about 9 a.m., when he would probably be arriving for his office hours. I am sure I would not be here today if the abortionist would have been in the clinic as his job is to take life, not sustain it. Some have said I am a "botched abortion", a result of a job not well done.
There were many witnesses to my entry into this world. My biological mother and other young girls in the clinic, who also awaited the death of their babies, were the first to greet me. I am told this was a hysterical moment. Next was a staff nurse who apparently called emergency medical services and had me transferred to a hospital.
I remained in the hospital for almost three months. There was not much hope for me in the beginning. I weighed only two pounds. Today, babies smaller than I was have survived.
A doctor once said I had a great will to live and that I fought for my life. I eventually was able to leave the hospital and be placed in foster care. I was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a result of the abortion.
My foster mother was told that it was doubtful that I would ever crawl or walk. I could not sit up independently. Through the prayers and dedication of my foster mother, and later many other people, I eventually learned to sit up, crawl, then stand. I walked with leg braces and a walker shortly before I turned age four. I was legally adopted by my foster mother's daughter, Diana De Paul, a few months after I began to walk. The Department of Social Services would not release me any earlier for adoption.
I have continued in physical therapy for my disability, and after a total of four surgeries, I can now walk without assistance. It is not always easy. Sometimes I fall, but I have learned how to fall gracefully after falling 19 years.
I am happy to be alive. I almost died. Every day I thank God for life. I do not consider myself a by-product of conception, a clump of tissue, or any other of the titles given to a child in the womb. I do not consider any person conceived to be any of those things.
I have met other survivors of abortion. They are all thankful for life. Only a few months ago I met another saline abortion survivor. Her name is Sarah. She is two years old. Sarah also has cerebral palsy, but her diagnosis is not good. She is blind and has severe seizures. The abortionist, besides injecting the mother with saline, also injects the baby victims. Sarah was injected in the head. I saw the place on her head where this was done. When I speak, I speak not only for myself, but for the other survivors, like Sarah, and also for those who cannot yet speak ...
Today, a baby is a baby when convenient. It is tissue or otherwise when the time is not right. A baby is a baby when miscarriage takes place at two, three, four months. A baby is called a tissue or clumps of cells when an abortion takes place at two, three, four months. Why is that? I see no difference. What are you seeing? Many close there eyes...
The best thing I can show you to defend life is my life. It has been a great gift. Killing is not the answer to any question or situation. Show me how it is the answer.
There is a quote which is etched into the high ceilings of one of our state's capitol buildings. The quote says, "Whatever is morally wrong, is not politically correct." Abortion is morally wrong. Our country is shedding the blood of the innocent. America is killing its future.
All life is valuable. All life is a gift from our Creator. We must receive and cherish the gifts we are given. We must honor the right to life.
You can hear and see Gianna Jessen in two videos here.