An evening of celebration & reflection

Julia Holcomb, Silent No More
Julia Holcomb, Silent No More

New Hampshire Right to Life’s banquet last week was the usual cheerful gathering. Dinner service began later than scheduled, thanks to a lot of mingling and laughter. High school and college students filled some of the tables, with the young men looking various shades of uncomfortable in their jackets and ties. A few candidates made the rounds. Everyone applauded the evening’s honorees.

Then Julia Holcomb started talking, and the vast banquet hall went silent. “You could hear a pin drop on the floor in the back of the room,” reported one of her listeners later.

Julia is with the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. She’s a happy woman who has built a good life: married for 30 years, mother to seven children with her husband. Her story is about another child, her first, lost at five month’s gestation to a saline abortion when Julia was 17. (Does anyone born since 1990 know what that is? Inject saline into the mother’s uterus, scald the baby to death, deliver dead baby. State of the art in the late twentieth century.) The abortion was coerced. The father was and is rich and famous. The relationship did not survive the abortion by very long. Her own account is far more compelling than any description I could provide; take the time to watch a video of her testimony here.

It’s tough to take phrases like “choice” and “reproductive justice” seriously after hearing from Julia Holcomb. Slogans fade away in the face of a woman speaking with such courage and honesty.

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Seen at NHRTL’s 2014 banquet: