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John Jalsevac

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Mom of rock-star Steven Tyler’s aborted baby breaks 3-decades silence - is now pro-life mom of 7

John Jalsevac
John Jalsevac
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(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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Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

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TLC pulls ‘19 Kids and Counting’ from schedule following Duggar molestation allegations

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By Ben Johnson

SPRINGDALE, AR, May 22, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The television network TLC has removed the Duggar family's reality show, “19 Kids and Counting,” from its schedule, at least temporarily.

Multiple news outlets have confirmed that the show, featuring the large and expanding evangelical Christian family, will not be on the air until the network makes a final decision about the program's fate.

The network had previously removed “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” from its network after “Mama June” Shannon had been seen associating with convicted child molester Mark McDaniel, possibly exposing her children to a sexual predator. Shannon has told the entertainment news outlet TMZ that she would sue the network for unfair and inconsistent treatment.

TLC has not made a final determination as of yet and aired a Duggar marathon Thursday evening as the controversy brewed.

Friday's move comes after media outlets obtained police records showing Josh Duggar, as a young teenager 12 years ago, inappropriately touched as many as five girls, often while they were sleeping. The police records show the incidents began in March 2002, the month the oldest Duggar child turned 14. He admitted the incident to his parents that July, but another incident took place in March 2003. At that time, the family sent him to a program that required counseling and hard physical labor.

Three years later, a letter containing details of the molestation was found, and its recipient notified police, who launched an investigation.

One of his victims told police, after Josh returned in July 2003, he had clearly “turned back to God.” No further incidents have been alleged.

Duggar's wife of six-and-a-half years, Anna, said Josh revealed the painful episode to her two years before they got engaged.

Since the allegations have been made public, Josh Duggar admitted his long ago wrongdoing, calling his teenage actions “inexcusable.” He also resigned his job at FRC Action, a pro-family lobbying organization.

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Some figures have offered the Duggars their reassurance that, whatever sins Josh committed as a teen, he can be – perhaps has been – forgiven by God.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, now a presidential hopeful, said that Josh “and his family dealt with it and were honest and open about it with the victims and the authorities. No purpose whatsoever is served by those who are now trying to discredit Josh or his family by sensationalizing the story.”

He said those who leaked the story were motivated by “insensitive bloodlust” to destroy the Duggar family. “There was no consideration of the fact that the victims wanted this to be left in the past, and ultimately a judge had the information on file destroyed—not to protect Josh, but the innocent victims.”

God, Huckabee said, forgives all sins.

“In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption,” Josh wrote.

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Rebecca Kiessling of Save the 1 - United States Steve Jalsevac/Vatican City
Rebecca Kiessling

I told her I was conceived in rape. She told me to prove I shouldn’t have been aborted.

Rebecca Kiessling
By Rebecca Kiessling

(Savethe1) - Why should I have to prove my worth and my right to life? When I first learned at the age of 18 that I was conceived in rape, I instantly felt targeted and devalued by our society because I’d heard what people said about pregnancy “in cases of rape.” Right away, I felt I was in a position where I would have to justify my own existence – that I would have to prove to the world that I shouldn’t have been aborted and that I was worthy of living.

I’ve since found my own value, identity and purpose in Christ, being created by God, in His image, and for a purpose, so I no longer feel I need to prove my worth to others in order to feel worthy. Instead, I share my worth out of gratitude for my own life being spared and in order that others may see the value of those who are still at risk – those who are in harm’s way as yet unborn and being targeted for abortion in the clinics, in legislation, and in people’s hearts and minds.

Whenever I speak, I share this aspect of my journey, but people are shocked to hear that I actually do get challenged to prove my value, to demonstrate my positive contribution to society and to justify my right not to have been aborted. This recent e-mail is a case in point. It was a tough inquiry to receive, but you’ll see my hopefully patient (and prayerful) responses below, and the ultimate outcome of the exchange:

I’m feeling sad and skeptical about rape babies.  I’d love to consider myself pro-life due to biblical reasons, but I just don’t really see what good can ever come out of a rape baby. I still think that it sometimes furthers the victimization of a rape victim. And it’s also because I’m very sad and disturbed by your blog.

I just think sometimes that it would be better if these babies never existed -- that every single one would naturally be miscarried by God’s will, so no one could bully them for their skeleton in their closet. Like I said, the subject manner disturbs me to the point where I vomit. I wish that every child was conceived in love and not violence because that's the way it should be. And I'm sad to say that the only way I could fully believe all of you rape mothers and children is if you were to pray for the peace of God that transcends all my futile understanding and my volatile, overly-sensitive emotions. 

There is no story in the whole world that can fully change my mind. The only way I could ever is if I were to befriend a victim or become the Bride of a man whom was the product of abuse. I'm so sorry to be brutally honest; it's just that my heart grieves to the point where I feel the struggle to overcome the sin of prejudice. I'm so angry at God that he allows this to occur.

Dear __, I appreciate you going to our blog and taking the time to reach out to us.  Your concerns are the most common, but research shows that rape victims are four times more likely to die within the next year after the abortion vs. giving birth. Dr. David Reardon's book Victims and Victors: Speaking Out About Their Pregnancies, Abortions and Children Resulting From Sexual Assault explains this.  So it's a myth which gets perpetuated -- that a rape victim would be better off after an abortion, that her child would be a reminder of the rape, and that she would even see her child as a "rape baby," as you put it.

I understand a lot of what you're saying.  You would definitely feel differently if you knew someone personally.  I wished I wasn’t conceived in rape, but I do believe now that God definitely brings good out of evil, and uses tragic situations to bring healing.  He doesn't intend the evil of course, but his trademark is redeeming really awful situations.

-- Rebecca

Her reply (again, challenging for me to read, but I think she candidly articulates a lot of what most people really wonder or think):

What has God done in your life personally besides this blog that has made your tragic family life worth the pain? Tell me what you have been doing: like marriage, dating, children, jobs, friendship, volunteer work; any of that. I am curious to see how God has given your life joy and purpose. I'm sorry if I have ever been difficult to handle. I'm emotionally impulsive when I hear something sad.

First of all, my birthmother and her husband legally adopted me 3-1/2 years ago because my adoptive family was really screwed up (long story of abuse and abandonment.) My own adoption by my birthmother was our fairy-tale ending.  She says I'm a blessing to her, I honor her and I bring her healing! I love adoption -- my two oldest are adopted (very open adoption,) and we adopted a baby with special needs -- Cassie -- who died in our arms at 33 days old. It was an honor to take care of her and was definitely one of the most important things I'd ever done in my life. She died because of medical malpractice.

Married for nearly 17 years, we have 5 children now – two adopted sons and our three biological daughters.  Here's my son's story. He wrote it last September at 12 years old.

Besides being the president and founder of Save The 1, I also co-founded Hope After Rape Conception. I'm a family law attorney, though I closed my law practice to have my children and to home school until 2-1/2 years ago.

I make baby quilts which I donate to pregnancy resource centers and I give to moms in unplanned pregnancies. My birthmother taught me to sew! I also taught my children to quilt, as well as many of my friends and their children. I've volunteered with orphan care, Sunday school, feeding the disadvantaged, free legal work, volunteer work for a maternity home, and helping in various ways with pregnancy resource centers. I changed the hearts of Gov. Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich on this issue during their presidential campaigns!

A large part of what I do is helping others to understand their value, identity and worth because lots of people struggle with these issues -- not just those conceived in rape. I hope this helps!  -- Rebecca

Her final response – from someone who said “there is no story in the world that can fully change my mind”: 

Dear Rebecca, thank you so much for your time to straighten out my emotional acting out -- I'm really glad you told me about your life. I really think I'll be okay now. I still wish that men wouldn't rape, but at least the world knows a lot more than they used to and I can say that I'm pro-life to my college professors without paranoia or anxiety. I even talked about helping people like you with my mom and dad. They told me I'm too sensitive in personality to be involved directly in domestic politics; yet, I'm praying about being a free English tutor for troubled families as well as being an anti-pornography informant or activist. After all, the porn industry has been statistically linked to the sexual violence pandemic. I'm so glad that you are living life well and to the best of your ability; keep telling people that just because your birth father was an evil scumbag doesn't mean that you are. Thanks Rebecca, you have really touched and strengthened my heart. With much sincerity.

 

BIO: Rebecca Kiessling was conceived in rape and nearly aborted, but legally protected by law in Michigan pre-Roe v Wade.  She's an attorney, pro-life speaker and blogger, and President of Save The 1. Her own website is www.rebeccakiessling.com

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Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

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Boy Scouts president: We need to allow open homosexual leaders

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By Dustin Siggins

May 22, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Boy Scouts of America president Robert Gates says the youth organization must change with the times and allow open homosexual men to serve as Scout leaders.

Gates, the former U.S. Secretary of Defense and CIA Director, said in a speech at the 2015 Boy Scouts of America (BSA) National Annual Meeting Thursday that the Boy Scouts would have to adjust to "the social, political, and juridicial changes taking place in our country -- changes taking place a pace this past year no one anticipated."

According to Gates, the way to balance the religious affiliations of "some 70% of our scout units" and avoid "a broad [court] ruling that could forbid any kind of membership standard" is to offer individual troops a flexible membership policy. 

"For me, I support a policy that accepts and respects our different perspectives and beliefs, allows religious organizations -- based on First Amendment protections of religious freedom -- to establish their own standards for adult leaders, and preserves the Boy Scouts of America now and forever."

"I truly fear that any other alternative will be the end of us as a national movement," said Gates, who said that BSA should "seize control of our own future, set our own course, and change our policy in order to allow charter partners -- unit sponsoring organizations -- to determine the standards for their Scout leaders."

This is not the first time that Gates, who led the military to end its two decades-long Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, has supported gay Scout leaders. Last year, he said that he "would have supported having gay Scoutmasters, but at the same time, I fully accept the decision that was democratically arrived at by 1,500 volunteers from across the entire country."

In 2013, BSA allowed openly homosexual scouts for the first time. That policy reads: "No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone,” and took effect on January 1, 2014.

A year ago, Gates said he "was prepared to go further than the decision that was made" to allow gay Scout members, but decided that "to try to take last year's decision to the next step would irreparably fracture and perhaps even provoke a formal, permanent split in this movement - with the high likelihood neither side would subsequently survive on its own."

This week, though, Gates said that "events during the past year have confronted us with urgent challenges I did not foresee and which we cannot ignore."

"We cannot ignore growing internal challenges to our current membership policy, from some councils... in open defiance of the policy," said Gates. 

However, Gates' remarks may have come too late to prevent internal challenges from splitting BSA. Due to the 2013 vote, a number of Scouting alternatives launched, including the organization Trail Life USA. The latter group says it aims "to be the premier national character development organization for young men which produces Godly and responsible husbands, fathers, and citizens." 

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In January, Trail Life USA said it has "over 540 Troops in 48 states and the registration of nearly 20,000 adults and boys..."

Furthermore, the decision by BSA to allow gay scouts has led to criticism from people on both sides of the debate. Homosexual activists say the group did not go far enough, whereas many Christian parents and organizations say BSA is bowing to public pressure from homosexual advocates to affect its membership, despite its Christian roots.

Corporate pressure has also been aggressive. Last year, Walt Disney World threatened to not allow employees to volunteer for BSA as part of its VoluntEARS program in 2015 if the organization does not allow gay Scout leaders. Diversity Inc. reports that Merck & Co., Ernst & Young, Major League Baseball, and AT&T are just some of the other companies that have pressured BSA to further change its policies.

LifeSiteNews asked BSA whether Gates' comments indicated support for a totally flexible scout leadership policy, or just related to gay scout leaders, as well as whether BSA would take a stand against state and local laws that deny First Amendment rights to people who oppose same-sex "marriage."

BSA declined to comment, telling LifeSiteNews in a statement: "Dr. Gates’s remarks speak for themselves. ... It is important to note that no decisions were made during the National Annual Meeting. A decision is expected no later than the Boy Scouts of America’s National Executive Board meeting in October."

A video of Gates' remarks is below. The comments about membership standards begin at 8:40.

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