Breaking the Silence


By: Debbie Papalia – February, 2012

At this year’s March for Life in Washington, DC, Steven Tyler, the famed frontman of Aerosmith and the “American Idol” judge was mentioned in a post-abortion testimony on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court building during the “Silent No More” Awareness Rally; Julia Holcomb testified how she regretted having aborted Steven Tyler’s son back in 1975.

Steven Tyler regretted the abortion as well but he sought healing through the pages of his tell-all autobiography. For 36 years, Julia Holcomb kept quiet about the abortion she was forced into having (64% of American women report feeling pressured by others to abort) but she knew it was time to break the silence and last year she attended a weekend retreat organized by Rachel’s Vineyard, a national post-abortion outreach program.. Currently, Rachel’s Vineyard has grown to over 700 retreats annually.

“In spite of everything, I do not hate Steven Tyler, nor am I personally bitter.” she said in a recent interview. “I pray for his sincere conversion of heart and hope he can find God’s grace, as I have.”

In her continued efforts to help others heal from abortion, Holcomb joined forces with the “Silent No More” Awareness Campaign, an international project created by Priests for Life and Anglicans for Life. Since its launch in 2003, thousands of women and men have shared their testimonies publicly throughout the world so people will know the “whole” truth about the hurtful aftermath of abortion.

People who have aborted their children often suffer from Post-Abortion Stress (P.A.S.) causing them to feel guilty, angry, and sometimes even worthless. These feelings can in turn create a life of drug/alcohol additions, suicidal thoughts, and eating disorders. As with the case of Steven Tyler, he revealed in his memoirs that his life was filled with drug addiction and self-destructive behavior. He also said that he was haunted for many years by the abortion and vividly remembers asking, “Jesus, what have I done?”

Steven Tyler can keep asking that question and writing his books (this is his second memoir where he writes about the abortion). He broke his silence but did he ever heal the wound of abortion? Julia Holcomb broke her silence and healed her wound by taking part in a weekend retreat, a Bible study, and eventually her public testimony on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court. We can only hope and pray that the infamous rock star would take a similar path.

If you are searching for healing, you can find peace and freedom by breaking the silence within yourself and taking action just as Julia Holcomb did. There are many confidential programs including Project Rachel, a Catholic outreach ministry offering retreats entitled “Come to the Waters of Healing” which are being held in the Boston area on February 25, March 17, and May 5. In the Merrimack Valley, there is a “Forgiven & Set Free” Bible Study which is offered by the Pregnancy Care Center (PCC) through their Post Abortion Counseling and Education (P.A.C.E.) program where one on one meetings are held in local churches.

For next year’s March Life, I have a dream that Steven Tyler will perform a “Concert for the Unborn'” so he can fully heal and truly honor his unborn son. Mark your calendars and start praying for that momentous concert on Friday, January 25, 2013 and remember “with God all things are possible.”

Resources: Silent No More Awareness Campaign. 1-800-707-6635 -Joanne McDuffee 617-645-7958.

Rachel’s Vineyard,, 1-877-HOPE-4-ME (467-3463)

Project Rachel (Confidential Catholic Outreach)

Come to the Waters of Healing: One Day Retreat for Hope & Healing After Abortion

February 25, March 17, May 5, 2012 9:00AM – 5:00 PM

This one-day retreat is designed to help women hurting from past abortions experience the personal love of Christ and find hope for healing. It will offer a loving and confidential environment.

Contact: Marianne at 508-651-3100 Email:

Pregnancy Care Center (PCC)

124 Ames Street, Lawrence, MA 01841


P.A.C.E. (Post Abortion Counseling and Education) offered by the PCC

978-241-2271 or 978-521-7677

P.A.C.E. services are available to both men and women and are completely confidential.

Forgiven & Set Free: A Post-Abortion Study for Women by Linda Cochrane

Healing a Father’s Heart: A Post-Abortion Bible Study for Men By: Linda Cochrane

Men and Abortion: A Path to Healing By C.T. Coyle, Ph.D.

40 Days for Life: International Prayer Movement to end abortion.

There have been nine coordinated 40 Days for Life campaigns since 2007, mobilizing people of faith and conscience in 422 cities internationally.

Next Campaign: Feb 22 – April 1.

Join in and attend a peaceful prayer vigil outside the local abortion facility: 
ABORTION CLINIC of Dr. Marcus Gordon
288 Groveland St., Haverhill