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 their 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.
For more information about Gianna’s survival, her music, and her pro-life speaking, visit www.giannajessen.com. Additional links to speeches and music are listed on the Abortion Survivors in the News page on this site.