The Making of a Martyr 

Holly Patterson's death devastated her family, but gave new life to longtime foes of RU-486.

Page 10 of 10

The hardest part, Ehsan says, is having to share Holly's memory with millions of people who never knew her. "When you have a relationship with someone, it's very sacred to you, very personal. And when everyone is suddenly demanding to know every aspect of your relationship, there's nothing you can do; you can't hold anything for yourself. It's like none of the memories are left just for you," he says. "She's almost like a celebrity figure in my mind now. Yeah, she was mine, but now she belongs to the entire world."

And as Holly's Law moves through the legislative process, no doubt many people will wonder: Would Holly, who chose to have a medical abortion, wish for her worldly legacy to be the outlawing of RU-486? Or would she, as her namesake bill suggests, want to take enormous precautions to prevent any other family from experiencing the pain hers has endured? In the noisy public debate over who can best speak for women's health interests, only Holly Patterson knows why she made the choices she did, and whether she would want other women to also be free to choose.

But Holly's voice is quiet now. What began with a secret must end with one, too.

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