An upcoming online gathering for women will offer hope and encouragement in response to significant trials, demonstrating that life is still miraculous in every situation.
The She Loves Out Loud conference seeks to inspire women, in particular those who suffer emotionally from incidents of betrayal, abuse, human trafficking and abortion – and the pregnancy center staff available to help them.
Abortion survivor Claire Culwell and her adoptive mother, Barbara, are among the featured speakers at the online women’s prayer conference; a live, virtual prayer event scheduled for Saturday, February 15.
The Culwells’ shared story is one of forgiveness and restoration, said Diane Strack, president of She Loves Out Loud.
Strack had special reasons for inviting these two women to speak.
“I specifically wanted to focus on three things,” she told Pregnancy Help News. “One, on women understanding really what choice they are making.”
“By seeing a survivor as an adult, I think there is a vibrant understanding of the fetus,” Strack said. “You can no longer wipe away the unborn child as a piece of tissue when you see how beautiful, healthy, and gracious Claire is.”
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“Secondly, her story of forgiveness for her birth mother is so necessary for the women who tragically made or had someone else make the wrong, sad choice,” she said. “They need our grace, mercy, love and understanding to rebuild their own lives as well as help others to not make the same mistake.”
“Lastly,” Strack said, “the decision to adopt a baby weighing three pounds in a body cast is a huge one, and we want to highlight the joys of adoption by also bringing her mom, Barbara Culwell, to the set.”
The United States legalized abortion 47 years ago. Over the course of the past nearly five decades, approximately 60 million unborn lives have been lost to abortion and millions of women and men and their families have been otherwise negatively impacted.
Prior to age 21 she didn’t know she was an abortion survivor. Culwell’s birth mother was pregnant with twins at age 13 and her mother took her to an abortion facility when Culwell’s mom was 20 weeks pregnant.
The D&C abortion succeeded in taking the life of Culwell’s twin, but Culwell survived.
Although shocked at discovering this news, in an interview last year, Culwell said, “I knew that my life was a miracle, there was a reason that I was here, and I could either forgive my birth mother and share this story to show the humanity of the baby and offer hope and a message of forgiveness to women that have had abortions, or I could be angry and upset. And so, I chose to forgive my birth mother and share my story.”
Through Cullwell’s compelling story, Strack hopes many women who take part in the She Loves Out Loud event will be inspired and enlightened.
“Sadly, we know that our churches are full of women who have had abortions,” Strack said. “They need to know there is hope, love, and forgiveness, that they are loved and can start again, and especially that God can use their lives to keep other women from making this sad choice.”
Pregnancy center staff, volunteers, and clients can also benefit not only from Claire’s story but from the conference as a whole, Strack added.
“We are confident that every pregnancy center staff member and client will benefit from these stories,” she said.
Other conference presenters include well-known Christian writers and speakers Sheila Walsh and Priscilla Shirer. Walsh and Shirer will talk about victory over depression and race relations, respectively. Human trafficking survivor Christa Lynn will talk about healing from abuse and trauma.
Sex trafficking victims are also often abortion victims. According to the Family Research Council, in a survey of 66 trafficking survivors 71 percent reported they had become pregnant while trafficked – abortion kept their traffickers using them. It is not uncommon for pregnancy centers to find trafficked women among their clients.
Other conference speakers will focus on praying for military spouses, children and marriages. The event will be live-streamed on several platforms, including SheLovesOutLoud.org.
This is a four-hour event. However, Strack said if participants can only join for part of the conference, that the first half is especially compelling.
“Sheila Walsh on overcoming anxiety and depression; Christa Lynn, trafficking and abuse survivor, talks about healing of the heart; and Claire and Barbara Culwell’s story of forgiveness, adoption, and restoration,” Strack said.
There will also be worship music and prayer time between the speakers. The free event will be broadcast from Life Outreach International's Life Today studio.
“We are a full production of the most inspiring stories, original worship songs, and safe place for women to share their pain and be prayed with,” Strack said. “This free live-stream is a message to women across America and the world that says ‘There is hope. We see you. We hear you. We love you. Prayer can bring about healing in your life.’ There are those who will listen and love you just as you are, but they also want to share the Good News of hope that they have received themselves.”
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Find the schedule for the February 15 event and the various live-stream platforms carrying the women’s prayer conference HERE.