Gianna Jessen

Survivor #1 : Gianna Jessen

Survived Abortion: 1977

Place : USA

Injuries : Severe Cerebral Palsy

Gianna's Story

Gianna Jessen is a beautiful, bubbly, talented young lady whose singing and testimony have delighted, moved, and inspired audiences worldwide. In 1977, Gianna was scheduled for an appointment with death. Because her mother was already in the 24th week of her pregnancy, the abortionist opted for the saline method. The doctor injected a saline (salt water) solution into the amniotic fluid surrounding baby Gianna. In this type of abortion, the caustic, toxic saline solution slowly poisons the baby while burning her tender skin. Gianna was supposed to be delivered dead the following day.

But, Gianna was born alive, though small, premature, badly burned and injured from the saline abortion. A nurse rushed her from the abortion clinic to a hospital, where she spent the first three months of her infancy. She was then placed with a foster family specializing in high-risk babies.

The doctors said Gianna would never be able to sit up by herself, let alone walk, run, jump, and play like "normal" children. The abortion procedure had deprived her brain of oxygen and had left her with severe cerebal palsy. But at the age of three she was defying the medical experts and walking with the aid of a walker.

She has undergone a number of painful operations that have enhanced her muscular control and coordination. When interviewed in 1991, when she was 14 years old, Gianna said "I still limp," the effervescent teenager said, "but I can walk, run, dance, and jump. Maybe not as well as you or a lot of other people, but I do O.K. for me." The Lone Survivor, December 31, 1991.

In an interview, Gianna told The New American that she has added rock climbing to her repertoire of athletic skills.

Since she discovered the truth about her birth, Gianna has been a highly effective champion for the pro-life cause. With an angelic singing voice, a winning personality, and a uniquely compelling and heroic survival story, she has dramatically impacted audiences worldwide. She also testified before the Constitution Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee on April 22, 1996. On that occasion she said: 

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.... When I speak, I speak not only for myself, but for the other survivors ... 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 tissue or a clump of cells when an abortion takes place at two, three, four months. Why is that? I see no difference."

"The best thing I can show you to defend life is my life," Gianna told the lawmakers. "It has been a great gift." Yet only two of the 13 congressmen on the subcommittee were on hand to hear Gianna's moving testimony. Abortion supporter Patricia Schroeder (D-CO), who boycotted the hearing, protested that it was intended to "undermine the public's consistent and overwhelming support for Roe v. Wade."

But other audiences have been more interested in, and more receptive to, Gianna's story. Although her amazing story has been largely censored by the pro-abort media, thanks to The Maury Povich Show, The 700 Club, and Focus on the Family, Gianna's story has reached national television and radio audiences. In 1995, Dr. James Dobson's Focus on the Family published a biography of Gianna, entitled Gianna: Aborted and Lived to Tell About It.

Gianna continues to polish her singing talents. She is currently working on an album with renowned guitarist Phil Keaggy, due out this year. It is exciting working with a musician, composer, and lyricist of Mr. Keaggy's stature, she told The New American, but becoming a recording "star" is not her ambition. "My real ambition is to become a fearless Christian," she said.

And what does Gianna Jessen see herself doing ten years from now? "Being a good wife and mother," she says unhesitatingly. "Not that I'm in a rush to get married now, but a good husband and children - that's what I want.