Abortion Survivor to Speak at Benedictine College

Abortion Survivor to Speak at Benedictine College

Gianna Jessen to Give Address

Published: Monday, September 14, 2015


Gianna Jessen survived a failed abortion and overcame unbelievable obstacles to reach this point in her life. She will bring her incredible story to Benedictine College thanks to the Ravens Respect Life student group. Her talk is set for 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 15, in the O’Malley-McAllister Auditorium inside the St. John Paul II Student Center on the Benedictine campus in Atchison, Kan. Her presentation is free and open to the public.

Jessen’s life has been full of challenges at every turn. But for every setback, there have been invitations into the greatest halls of government and forays behind communist walls. A life that was never meant to be has been used to inspire, and even save, others.

“My life and my story didn’t began and end at my birth,” she said.

Jessen was intended to be another one of the 1.2 million abortions each year in the United States. Instead of death, though, she overcame to enter the world.  Doctors labeled her a hopeless case and predicted she would never even lift her head. But she showed them by walking as an infant and growing into a woman who has run marathons in spite of being born with cerebral palsy, a result of the attempted abortion.

“I find most of life very funny indeed,” she said. “I would say I laugh most of the time and cry at other times. But the crying is merely sowing seeds of joy for the future.”

While the obstacles she has overcome are inspiring on their own, she has also been a living, breathing face to the horrors of abortion. She is one of the rare survivors and frequently relays her story, speaking for those who can’t speak for themselves.  She has testified before Congress twice and watched in 2002 as President George W. Bush signed the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, which provides safeguards for those born during failed abortions.

Using a voice that was never intended to speak, Jessen has developed her musical talents as well as her public speaking skills. The 2012 movie October Baby was loosely based on her life story and audiences heard her song, “Ocean Floor,” as one of the emotional touch points during the film. She both wrote and performed the song and intends to focus more on her music moving forward.

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.