John Jalsevac

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EXCLUSIVE: Mother of Steven Tyler’s aborted baby breaks 3-decade silence - is now pro-life

John Jalsevac
John Jalsevac
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May 21, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – When Julia Holcomb was sixteen she and a friend contrived to meet Steven Tyler, the frontman of the multi-platinum-selling band Aerosmith, and now co-host of American Idol.

Holcomb’s gambit was more successful than she could have imagined. She and Tyler met backstage after an Aerosmith show, and what followed was a passionate and drug-fuelled three-year relationship that nearly culminated in marriage, even though Holcomb was a full decade younger than the rock star. But the affair eventually spun out of control and ended explosively after Holcomb was pressured into aborting Tyler’s unborn child.

Until now the few known details about the relationship have come from Tyler and his band mates, as found in the band’s memoirs, Walk This Way, or Tyler’s recent autobiography, Does the Noise in my Head Bother You?

For her part, Holcomb has conscientiously maintained a several decades-long silence, leaving many wondering what ever became of her. The last public word about her fate appears to have come from one of Tyler’s subsequent girlfriends, who spoke of “suicidal phone calls” from Holcomb to Tyler while he was on tour. But now she has broken her silence, in a brief 5,000-word memoir published by LifeSiteNews.com in cooperation with Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries, a ministry for post-abortion healing.

Holcomb’s story is at turns astonishing and disturbing - but, for her at least, has a happy ending. Unbelievably, from the young, confused girl who once spent three years living with a rock star, Holcomb has since become a devout and happily-married Catholic mother of seven children – and is fiercely pro-life.

But the journey from the dark years of her late teenagehood to the present is one that she says she nearly didn’t survive.

“I became lost in a rock and roll culture,” she recounts. “In Steven’s world it was sex, drugs, and rock and roll … I didn’t know it then, but I would barely make it out alive.”

Holcomb, who is publishing her memoir under her maiden name to protect her family’s privacy, explains that she chose to tell her story after her relationship with Tyler received renewed attention through Kevin Burke’s recent National Review article discussing her abortion, as well as Tyler’s newly-published autobiography.

“I decided it was time to tell my story honestly, to the best of my memory, hoping to bring closure and peace to this period of my life,” she writes. She says that she is seeking not only to correct what she calls the “gross exaggeration” in Tyler’s accounts of their sexual escapades, but also hopes that her account of her abortion, and the painful aftermath, will help those who have had abortions to find healing and peace.

(Click here to read Julia Holcomb’s complete memoir, The Light of the World)

Young and confused

The topic of abortion comes up more than once in Julia’s story: she herself narrowly escaped being aborted.

Her mother found out she was pregnant with Julia in the midst of a volatile marriage with an unstable and philandering gambler, who abandoned his children when they were toddlers. Family members encouraged her to get a (then-illegal) abortion.

“Thankfully she gave birth to me and later to my younger brother, and was a loving mother,” says Julia.

An alcoholic stepfather followed the gambling father. And then tragedy struck when a car accident killed Julia’s younger brother and grandfather, and injured Julia, her sister, and her grandmother - an event that eventually landed her stepfather for a spell in a mental institution, and precipitated a divorce.

Whereas prior to the divorce Julia’s mother regularly brought her children to church and prayed with them, after the divorce she seemed “wounded and disillusioned with life,” says Julia. She took up with another man, Julia’s second stepfather, with whom she did not initially get along.

Feeling unmoored, 15-year-old Julia drifted away from her family, making new friends at the local Teen Center.

Meeting Steve Tyler, and the pregnancy

One of these new friends was a 24-year-old woman who had access to backstage passes for rock concerts. Julia described this friendship as “pivotal” and “one of the most dangerous friendships I ever formed.”

This new friend “quickly taught me to dress in revealing clothes to get noticed and use sex as a hook to try to catch a rock star.” Evidently Julia learned well, for she caught Tyler - hook, line, and sinker.

“I fell hard. And I fell heavy. And I fell so in love.” That’s how Tyler describes what happened after he met Julia, in his autobiography.

So thoroughly was Tyler smitten with his 16-year-old beauty that he began to consider marrying her, and even convinced Julia’s mother to grant him guardianship over her, so that he could take her with him across state lines.

After a few months together, Tyler confided to Julia that he wanted to have a child. “I was touched by his sincerity and said yes,” she writes. “I wanted children, and began to believe he must truly love me since he had made himself my guardian and was asking to have children with me.”

Tyler threw Julia’s birth control pills over the balcony of their hotel room, and within a year she was pregnant.

The fire and the abortion

But things started to fall apart after Tyler announced his intention to marry Julia to his parents. After his parents and grandmother expressed their reservations, due to Julia’s youth, the couple had a fierce argument, and Tyler changed his mind.

Within weeks he was back on the road touring, while she was left back home in his apartment “alone and pregnant … with no money, no education, no prenatal care, no driver’s license and little food.” It was also around this time that Tyler reportedly took up with Playboy model Bebe Buell.

Then came the fire.

One day, says Julia, while on tour Tyler sent an old highschool friend and former bandmate to the apartment to bring Julia shopping. The next thing she says she remembers is waking up in a dense cloud of smoke. The apartment was on fire.

Julia narrowly escaped with her life, in near-miraculous circumstances. After finding all exits impassable, Julia suddenly recalled fire safety advice from a Bill Cosby commercial, and crawled into an unused fireplace over which hung a picture of Jesus inherited from her grandmother.  Tyler later returned that picture to Julia, telling her it was the only thing in the apartment that survived the fire.

Julia was rescued from the burning building by firemen, and landed in the hospital with severe smoke inhalation. Tyler was told that she might not make it. But she pulled through, as did her unborn baby.

That’s when the pressure began.

According to Julia, Tyler came into her hospital room and told her that she needed an abortion “because of the smoke damage to my lungs and the oxygen deprivation I had suffered.” But Julia said no, repeatedly. She wanted the baby. Plus, she was already five months pregnant.

At that point, Tyler relented and told her she could go back to her mother and have the baby. But Julia says she was concerned that her family wouldn’t want her to have the baby either. With no money, and no expectation that Tyler would help provide for her and the baby, she gave in to his wishes.

Julia describes the abortion as “a horrible nightmare I will never forget.” Tyler was with her throughout the abortion, but was doing cocaine the whole time, and therefore seemed “emotionally detached,” she says.

She would learn, however, that Tyler was not as detached as he might have appeared.

In Walk this Way, he remembered the traumatic event: “You go to the doctor and they put the needle in her belly and they squeeze the stuff in and you watch. And it comes out dead. I was pretty devastated. In my mind, I’m going, Jesus, what have I done?” However, Julia writes that Tyler told her after the abortion that, rather than coming out dead, their baby had actually been born alive, and then allowed to die.

“My baby had one defender in life; me, and I caved in to pressure because of fear of rejection and the unknown future,” says Julia. “I wish I could go back and be given that chance again, to say no to the abortion one last time.  I wish with all my heart I could have watched that baby live his life and grow to be a man.” 

A new life

After the abortion, “nothing was the same” between Julia and Tyler. Eventually she moved back in with her mother, “a broken spirit.” She says she couldn’t sleep without having nightmares of the abortion and the fire.

But she soon came to realize that her second stepfather, whom she had previously disliked, was trying to be a good husband and father, and came to respect him. Julia started going to church with them – a United Methodist church in the area – and began participating in youth events at the church.

She soon went to college, and it was there that she met her future husband, Joseph.

“Today,” she writes, “I am a pro-life Roman Catholic, the mother of seven children, and this year my husband and I will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary.  Joseph and I have six children of our own, and I give thanks for each of them, as they are truly a gift from God.” The couple are also legal guardians to a young girl, who was born from a difficult pregnancy, but whose mother decided to choose life.

Julia describes her husband as “my true hero.” “He has been a loving husband, a generous father, and hard-working provider for our family. My husband loves me and has forgiven me from his heart and has not let my past define his understanding of who I am as a person.”

Julia and her husband converted to the Roman Catholic faith in 1992.

Abortion never the answer

Julia says that she holds no bitterness for Tyler: “I pray for his sincere conversion of heart and hope he can find God’s grace.”

Mostly, however, she says she just wants people to know that abortion is never the answer.

“Someone may say that my abortion was justified because of my age, the drugs, and the fire,” she says. “I do not believe anything can justify taking my baby’s life. The action is wrong. I pray that our nation will change its laws so that the lives of innocent unborn babies are protected.”

She concludes with these powerful words:  “Our nation’s young girls, especially those like me, who have experienced trauma and abuse, and are vulnerable to exploitation should not be used as sexual playthings, scarred by abortions to free their male partners from financial responsibility, and then like their unborn children, tossed aside as an unwanted object.

“Marriage and the family are the building blocks of all virtuous societies.  I learned this lesson in a trial by fire that taught me to trust God’s plan no matter what occurs.  I pray that our nation may also find its way back to God by respecting the life of unborn children and strengthening the sanctity of marriage.” 

(Click here to read Julia Holcomb’s complete memoir)

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Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
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Vatican pressing forward with reform of US feminist nuns: Cardinal Müller

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By Thaddeus Baklinski

Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, says the Vatican is pressing forward with plans to reform the U.S.-based Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR).

In an interview published in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, the cardinal said that the reform of the LCWR, which was undertaken after an assessment of the group found serious doctrinal problems, will be carried out with the goal of helping them "rediscover their identity.”

“Congregations have no more vocations and risk dying out," Müller said. "We have first of all tried to reduce hostility and tensions, partly thanks to Bishop Sartain whom we sent to negotiate with them; he is a very gentle man. We wish to stress that we are not misogynists, we are not women gobblers! Of course we have a different concept of religious life but we hope to help them rediscover their identity.”

Moreover, the cardinal said that problems specific to the LCWR are not a reflection of all the women religious in the US.

"We need to bear in mind that they do not represent all US nuns, but just a group of nuns who form part of an association,” Müller said.

“We have received many distressed letters from other nuns belonging to the same congregations, who are suffering a great deal because of the direction in which the LCWR is steering their mission.”

Cardinal Müller's remarks confirmed the assertion he and the Holy See’s delegate to the LCWR, Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle, made in an address to LCWR officials in Rome on April 30, that the theological drift the feminist nuns are taking constitutes a radical departure from the foundational theological concepts of Catholicism.

The Holy See “believes that the charismatic vitality of religious life can only flourish within the ecclesial faith of the Church,” Müller said in the address.

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“The LCWR, as a canonical entity dependent on the Holy See, has a profound obligation to the promotion of that faith as the essential foundation of religious life. Canonical status and ecclesial vision go hand-in-hand, and at this phase of the implementation of the Doctrinal Assessment, we are looking for a clearer expression of that ecclesial vision and more substantive signs of collaboration,” he stated.

The LCWR has openly defied the mandate of reform intended to bring their organization into line with basic Catholic doctrine on the nature of God, the Church, and sexual morality.

Among the CDF’s directives, to which LCWR has strenuously objected, is the requirement that “speakers and presenters at major programs” be approved by Archbishop Sartain. This, Müller has explained, was decided in order to “avoid difficult and embarrassing situations wherein speakers use an LCWR forum to advance positions at odds with the teaching of the Church.”

The LCWR has invited speakers to their Annual Assembly such as New Age guru Barbara Marx Hubbard, and Sr. Laurie Brink, who is particularly noted for flagrantly denying the Divinity of Christ and telling the sisters that to maintain their “prophetic” place in society they need to “go beyond” the Church and even “go beyond Jesus.”

In one of the first public statements of his pontificate, Pope Francis affirmed that the investigation and reform of the LCWR must continue.

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Brian Fisher

Birth mothers: real heroes of the pro-life movement

Brian Fisher
By Brian Fisher
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What does it mean to be brave? Is it the doctor who dedicates himself to improving the health of a third-world nation? Is it the woman who faces her third round of chemotherapy to fight the progression of cancer? Is it the teacher who forgoes the comforts of a suburban school to reach minorities in the inner city? All of these are examples of bravery demonstrated in exceedingly challenging circumstances. And our society longs for stories of bravery to inspire us and fill us with hope.

As someone who works day in and day out with those on the front lines of helping rescue babies from abortion, I’m no stranger to stories of bravery. I see courage every day in the eyes of the men and women who sacrifice their time and energy to help women facing unplanned pregnancies. I see it every time a young mom — despite being pressured by her parents or significant other to get an abortion — chooses LIFE. And perhaps more profoundly than in any other situation, I see it when an expectant mom with no relational support, job, or income chooses to place her baby for adoption rather than abort her son or daughter.

This was Nicky’s situation.

When Nicky found herself pregnant with her boyfriend’s child, her life was already in shambles. During her 26 years, Nicky had already given birth to and surrendered sole custody of a little girl, committed several felonies, lived in her car, lost several jobs, and barely subsisted on minimum wage. So when she met up with an old boyfriend, Brandon, Nicky believed she was being given a second chance at happiness. “Our first year together was beautiful. We were getting to know each other and deciding if we would stay together forever.” Unfortunately, a positive pregnancy test result changed everything.

“When I told him I was pregnant, Brandon sat down on the bed, looked me in the eyes, and told me to ‘get an abortion’.” Nicky says those three little words changed everything for her. “I became depressed living with someone who wanted his child ‘dealt with.’”  Like thousands of women every day, Nicky began searching online for information on abortion, hoping her boyfriend would eventually change his mind. Through our strategic marketing methods, Online for Life was able to guide Nicky to a life-affirming pregnancy center where she received grace-filled counsel. “The woman I sat with was beyond wonderful. She helped me to just breathe and ask God what to do….And so I did.”

Nicky left the pregnancy center that day with a new resolve to choose life for her child, even though she still wasn’t sure how she’d financially support a child. “I was alone with just $10 in my pocket…and without any type of plan for what I was going to do.” So Nicky relied on the support of the staff she met at the life-affirming pregnancy center. With their help and through a chain of fortunate events, Nicky was put in contact with the couple who would eventually become her daughter’s adoptive parents.

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After meeting this couple face to face and coming to terms with her own desperate situation, Nicky conceded that the best thing for her unborn child would be to place her in someone else’s loving home. She told Brandon about her plans and he agreed that adoption would give their child the best chance at a happy and secure future. He even returned home to help Nicky prepare for the birth of their child. “The weeks leading up to my delivery were filled with a mixture of laughter, tears, protectiveness and sadness,” Nicky recalls. But one sentiment continued to be shared with her. “Brave…so brave.” That’s what everyone from the life-affirming pregnancy center to the adoption agency to the birthing center kept calling Nicky. “The nurses kept coming up to me and telling me they were honored to care for and treat someone like me.” After several weeks of preparation, Nicky finally gave birth to a healthy baby girl, and she made the dreams of a couple from the other side of the country come true.

Nicky’s adoption story continues to be riddled with a strange combination of pain and joy. “I cry every day, but I know my baby, who came out of a very bad time, ended up being loved by people from across the country.” When asked what message she’d like to share with the world about her decision to give up her child for adoption, Nicky responds, The voice of the mother who gives up a baby for adoption isn’t heard. We need to change that.”

To learn more about Online for Life and how we’re helping to make stories like Nicky and her daughter’s story a possibility, please visit OnlineforLife.org.

Author, speaker, and business leader Brian Fisher is the President and Co-Founder of Online for Life, a transparent, metric-oriented, compassion-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to helping rescue babies and their families from abortion through technology and grace.

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New York farmers stop hosting weddings after $13,000 fine for declining lesbian ceremony

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By Dustin Siggins

New York farmers Robert and Cynthia Gifford, who were ordered last week to pay $13,000 for not hosting a same-sex "wedding," say they are closing that part of their operation.

"Going forward, the Giffords have decided to no longer host any wedding ceremonies on their farm, other than the ones already under contract," said Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) lawyer James Trainor. ADF represented the Giffords in their legal fight against New York's non-discrimination law.

Last week, the Giffords were ordered to pay a $10,000 fine to the state of New York and $3,000 in damages to a lesbian couple, Jennifer McCarthy and Melisa Erwin, who approached them in 2012 about hosting their "wedding." The Giffords, who are Roman Catholic, said their religious convictions would not let them host the ceremony, but that McCarthy and Erwin could hold their reception on their property.

Unbeknownst to the Giffords, the lesbian couple recorded the two-to-three minute conversation. After declining to hold the reception on the Giffords' farm, on which they live and rent property, the lesbian couple decided to make a formal complaint to the state's Division of Human Rights.

Eventually, Judge Migdalia Pares ruled that the Giffords' farm, Liberty Ridge Farm, constitutes a public accommodation because space is rented on the grounds and fees are collected from the public. The Giffords argued that because they live on the property with their children, they should be exempt from the state law, but Pares said that this does not mean their business is private.

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Trainor told TheBlaze that the Giffords' decision to end wedding ceremonies at Liberty Ridge “will hurt their business in the short run," but that was preferable to violating their religious beliefs.

“The Giffords serve all people with respect and care. They have hired homosexual employees and have hosted events for same-sex couples,” he said.

However, "since the state of New York has essentially compelled them to do all ceremonies or none at all, they have chosen the latter in order to stay true to their religious convictions," Trainor explained to LifeSiteNews. "No American should be forced by the government to choose between their livelihood and their faith, but that’s exactly the choice the state of New York has forced upon the Giffords."

"They will continue to host wedding receptions," said Trainor.

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