Abortion survivor speaks at Pregnancy Resource Center Banquet

Gianna Jessen, abortion survivor and international speaker, addressed those attending the St. Joseph Pregnancy Resource Center Banquet September 10. (Sara Kraft photo)

By Sara Kraft

ST. JOSEPH—“I was born in an abortion clinic in Los Angeles, and it was kind of a big deal because I didn’t die,” shared 42-year-old abortion survivor and international speaker Gianna Jessen, at the Pregnancy Resource Center (PRC) Banquet Tuesday, September 10 at Word of Life Church in St. Joseph.

The St. Joseph Pregnancy Resource Center has sought to provide Christ-like service to pregnant, at-risk and post-abortive women over the past 21 years. The center addresses their spiritual, physical and emotional needs in order to equip them to make healthy, life-affirming decisions. From September 2018 to August 2019, they have assisted 361 women from 10 counties in various ways, including crisis pregnancy counselling, the maternity closet, baby and me classes and post-abortive healing. The Center knows of 97 babies born to women who were served in the clinic or attended classes within the past year.

This August, they expanded their location to include a presence with clinic services in Cameron, Missouri. The satellite Pregnancy Resource Center has services one afternoon a week and provides an expanded outreach to Northwest Missouri.

“Women can come to Cameron that may not come to St. Joseph,” explained clinic director Libby Owens. “We look forward to being there at least two or three days a week at a more permanent professional location.”

Since the center receives no governmental funding, this September banquet is the primary fundraiser for the Pregnancy Resource Center. Their goal was to raise $139,000 to help fund the coming year; these funds would allow them to serve 111 women with clinic services in St. Joseph or Cameron, purchase a new DVD curriculum set for My Baby and Me classes in Cameron, and coordinate post-abortion recovery support for at least 10 women in St. Joseph or Cameron.

“There are most likely a lot of women in here who have had abortions,” said Gianna. “One out of thre or four women in the church have had abortions. That’s a lot of pain.”

Gianna assured those women and men that she came not to condemn them but to help heal. She told the crowd if anyone had had an abortion, they needed to repent and then not allow the devil to bother them.

When Gianna’s 17-year-old mother was seven and a half months pregnant, she went to Planned Parenthood and was injected with a saline solution to cause abortion. After 18 hours of being burned alive by that saline solution, Gianna was born alive in that abortion clinic at 6 am. Luckily for her, the abortionist was not yet in.

“Had the abortionist been there, I would have been strangulated,” explained Gianna.

A nurse called an ambulance and Gianna was transferred to a nearby hospital, where she was placed in an incubator weighing only two pounds and fighting cerebral palsy due to the failed abortion. When she was well enough, Gianna was placed in emergency foster care, and at 17 months placed in another foster home with Penny.

Over the years, Penny had 56 foster children as a single mom. She taught Gianna how to walk at age 3, which was something Gianna was told she would never do. Later, when Gianna had spinal surgery at age 10, Penny taught her how to walk again.

Over the years, Gianna has literally run marathons and climbed mountains. Other times, she has struggled to walk.

“It’s amazing what you can do with the strength of God. Don’t give up on life too soon,” she challenged.

Additionally Gianna challenged the crowd to give generously to the Pregnancy Resource Center, to perhaps give up Netflix and one Starbucks run weekly to donate even a bit of money.

“Pregnancy resource centers are a place of hope and life for women and families who are in a profound moment of crisis in their life,” she said. “She (Director Libby Owens) doesn’t just need your prayer—she needs your money and your prayer.”

For more information on the St. Joseph Pregnancy Resource Center, visit stjosephprc.org.

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Friday
November 22, 2019
Newspaper of the Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph