It has been reported this morning by Rev. Frank Pavone, a priest close to the family of Norma McCorvey, the legendary woman who brought the then-illegal case of abortion to a court of law only to have have it legalized, that she has died of a heart failure in her assisted-living home. Thanks to Ms. McCorvey, over 50 million abortions have been safely done since the ruling in 1973 here in the United States. Despite this, later in life she became an anti-abortion activist. In her 1994 book, ‘I Am Roe: My Life, Roe v. Wade, and Freedom of Choice, she says ’ “I wasn’t the wrong person to become Jane Roe. I wasn’t the right person to become Jane Roe. I was just the person who became Jane Roe, of Roe v. Wade. And my life story, warts and all, was a little piece of history.”
It can be said that her stance for abortion was based on her own life experiences as a bisexual woman who was raped by relatives, married at 16 to a man who physically abused of her and escaped her home, leaving her on her own as a homeless runaway. She conceived 3 times but gave them all up for adoption and her parents (who agreed that she was not to contact them) before the ruling for abortion. She wrote articles, spoke to crowds and became a prominent face for women’s reproductive rights, but all this also made her an extremely controversial political figure. She was spat at, had“baby killer” yelled at her in the streets and at one point had a shotgun gun fired through her window at her home by anti-abortion campaigners.
In 1995, however, everything changed. At the time, she was working at a Dallas woman clinic when an anti-abortion group, Operation Rescue, moved its offices next door. There she met Rev. Philip Benham, Operation Rescue’s director, during a smoke break and that night switched converted to Christianity. Her baptism, which was broadcasted on national television, was done in a swimming pool at her home in Dallas and since then she has been against abortion, advocating for pro-life. She was interview by CNN in 1997 about the 25th anniversary of the the court case Roe v. Wade, which was the name of case, and said, “I’m very sad (about the anniversary). But this year, I’ve got so much to do, I don’t have time to sit down and be sad.”
“She was victimized and exploited by abortion ideologues when she was a young woman but she came to be genuinely sorry that a decision named for her has led to the deaths of more than 58 million children. Norma’s conversion to Christianity, then to Catholicism, was sincere and I was honored to be part of that journey,” said Rev. Frank Pavone and considered her his friend for more than 20 years. He still feels sorry about her famous role for legalization of abortion.