Norma McCorvey, who was the Jane Roe of the infamous Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court case legalizing virtually unlimited abortions, passed away today. McCorvey never had an abortion and eventually became pro-life and dedicated her life to overturning the horrible Supreme Court decision that bared her pseudonym.
McCorvey died today at an assisted-living facility in Katy, Texas. She was 69.
McCorvey never wanted an abortion — she was seeking a divorce from her husband — but young, pro-abortion feminist attorney Sarah Weddington used McCorvey’s case as a means of attempting to overturn Texas’ law making most abortions illegal. Weddington took the case all the way to the Supreme Court, which invalidated every pro-life state law in the nation protecting unborn children and the rest is history.
But most Americans don’t know that McCorvey, who was “pro-choice” on abortion at the time, became a pro-life advocate. She dedicated to reversing the Supreme Court case that bears her fictitious name, Jane Roe.
In a video, McCorvey explained her effort to obtain a legal abortion in the 1970s when facing an unplanned pregnancy. However, she never had an abortion and realized that her court case was the biggest mistake of her life and currently fights to stop abortion.
“Back in 1973, I was a very confused twenty-one year old with one child and facing an unplanned pregnancy,” she says in the ad. “At the time I fought to obtain a legal abortion, but truth be told, I have three daughters and never had an abortion.”
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“I think it’s safe to say that the entire abortion industry is based on a lie…. I am dedicated to spending the rest of my life undoing the law that bears my name,” McCorvey says.
She concludes the 60 second ad with the words: “You read about me in history books, but now I am dedicated to spreading the truth about preserving the dignity of all human life from natural conception to natural death.”
There is a 46-year-old woman, born in Texas, who should be dead right now. In fact, she should have never been born. Forty years ago, the Supreme Court decided that the Texas law that prevented Jane Roe from ending the life of her unborn daughter was unconstitutional. But by the time the Supreme Court issued its decision in 1973, she had already been born and adopted by a family—likely not knowing that all that ink spilled in Roe v. Wade was about her.
Norma McCorvey is “Jane Roe.” She claimed then that her pregnancy was the result of a rape, although for over a decade now she has been outspokenly pro-life and publicly admitted that this, and virtually every fact on which her case was built, was a lie. Both McCorvey and Sandra Cano, the Doe of Doe v. Bolton—Roe’s companion case from Georgia decided the same day—are now outspoken pro-life advocates who have sworn that their cases are built on lies.
But before the Supreme Court could decide whether McCorvey did have a constitutional right to end her unborn daughter’s life, it had to overcome a procedural obstacle that slowed down the process—a delay that factored into whether her daughter would ever have a family.
Because of that delay, McCorvey had already had the child by the time the Supreme Court issued its decision in January 1973. She had been adopted into a Texas home, perhaps somewhere in the Dallas area where McCorvey lived. The court nevertheless said that McCorvey’s case was not moot since her circumstances were “capable of repetition” because courts would never be able to decide the question during the time of a woman’s pregnancy.
Procedural history is never the exciting part of a lawsuit. But for McCorvey’s unborn daughter, the dry complexity of legal procedure is the reason she exists today. Fortunately for a three-year old girl, “the wheels of justice grind slowly,” and by the time the court issued its decision, a Texas family had adopted her. If the courts could have moved more quickly, she (and her family) would have never had that chance. Lemonade comes from lemons.
It is unknown to me whether the adoptive family ever even knew that their daughter was the supposedly unwanted child who was the subject of Roe. As far as we know, they raised her not knowing who she was and certainly never telling her.