WASHINGTON, D.C., January 26, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – When someone mentions the victims of abortion, people usually think about the 54.5 million children whose lives have been claimed by the procedure since 1973. After Saturday’s March for Life Youth Rally, they may broaden that definition to include the mothers – and fathers – whose lives are often scarred with guilt and regret, and who were often pressured or even forced into getting an abortion by abusive boyfriends and the aggressive misinformation of the abortion industry.
The rally, which was interrupted by Occupy Wall Street protesters, concluded with a presentation sponsored by the Silent No More Awareness Campaign that allowed parents who regret their abortions to speak out.
The group’s co-founder, Janet Morana, introduced three parents, including a post-abortive father, who told the crowd of more than 1,000 young people how their decision to end their unborn children’s lives deeply impacted their future for the worse.
Morana introduced Kelly Clinger of Atlanta, who said her two abortions “led to a lifetime of bad decisions.” After serving as an extra on The Mickey Mouse Club for five years, she became a background singer for pop sensation Britney Spears. She left Spears’ tour after she was raped.
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That’s when she met her future husband, Matt, at a club. They became sexually active, and within three months, she became pregnant. Afraid of her Christian parents’ reaction, she had an abortion without Matt’s knowledge. But about a month later, she was pregnant again.
This time, Matt drove her to the abortion facility and waited in the waiting room. After she came home, Kelly became ill and had to be rushed to the hospital, where a doctor told her the abortionist had left her baby’s hands and feet inside her.
No longer able to deny what she had done, she became an alcoholic.
Years later, she expressed her regrets on Twitter.
“Within 10 minutes, I was under attack,” she recalled. The experience led her to seek healing for her abortion and to reach out to others to do the same.
To counter those who told the world abortion was a safe, easy, and victimless procedure, she told the world, “I Had an Abortion and I Hate Myself.”
Despite her background in the entertainment industry, she does not consider herself special. “At the end of the day, I’m a woman who killed her children. I am determined to be their voice.”
“I am not just a singer anymore,” she said. “I am a voice.”
Her husband followed with his side of the story. Matt Clinger, who was a youth pastor, said he remained haunted by his “fundamental inability to be a man” and protect his unborn child.
Men regret their lost fatherhood, he said.
The program, which highlighted the healing available to those who seek it, concluded with the story of Julia Holcomb, who in the mid-1970s was the teenage girlfriend of Aerosmith lead singer and American Idol judge Steven Tyler.
Tyler fell in love with her after she and a friend met the band backstage following a performance in Portland. Her mother eventually named Tyler her guardian, so he could transport the minor across state lines. She moved into the rocker’s Boston apartment and says Tyler asked her to have his baby.
She agreed, but after his parents voiced their opposition to the marriage, he had a change of heart and went back on tour without his pregnant fiancée. While he was gone, the apartment caught fire with her inside. She survived by hiding inside an empty fireplace, but blacked out because of smoke inhalation. She awakened alive but groggy in the hospital.
“That is where the real nightmare began,” she said.
Tyler pressured her to have an abortion, and she eventually relented. The only words of preparation she received from the abortionist were, “Hold very still, or you could be killed or injured.”
Tyler previously detailed his side of the experience. “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,” he said. “I was pretty devastated.” His longtime friend, Ray Tabano, agreed, “it really messed Steven up because it was a boy.”
Julia said, however, that despite the saline injection, her baby was born alive and allowed to die.
After the abortion, Julia returned home. At a summer camp, she came to believe in God. She later met and married her husband of more than 30 years. They have seven children.
Her husband, Joseph, told LifeSiteNews.com they felt they had been prepared to tell others their story by a steadily increasing involvement in their church.
Holcomb held her peace for years after the story of her abortion broke in the tabloid media. She decided to go public with her side of the story to prevent other women from suffering the same pain she endured – and let those whose silent grief still consumes them that help is available.
“Abortion hurts women,” she said. “It wounds them. And it harms the society that tolerates it.”
“Thank you,” Julia concluded her speech. “I am silent no more.”
The event concluded with the debut of the song “Silent No More” by Jamie Owens Collins and a screening of the film October Baby.