On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court issued a 7-2 decision that gave women in the United States the right to choose whether or not to have abortions (Roe v. Wade). The government could no longer place restrictions on that right. Based on a case that questioned the constitutionality of a Texas law that banned abortion, this ruling took the rights of states away on this moral issue and gave the authority to the federal government—even though such a law never passed through the normal U.S. law-making procedures that are designated to Congress.
“ This ruling took the rights of states away on this moral issue and gave the authority to the federal government. ”
In fact, upon closer examination, the entire case seems to be full of deceptions and pro-abortion manipulation. Jane Roe, upon whom the case is based, was actually Norma McCorvey. (At the time, she did not wish to use her real name.) McCorvey had a tumultuous childhood as the daughter of an alcoholic mother, and a father who left the family when Norma was 13. McCorvey was in trouble with the law at the age of ten, when she robbed a gas station cash register and ran away with a friend. When caught, she was sent to a state-run school for girls in Gainseville, Texas. She later looked back on those years as the happiest of her childhood. She would purposely break some rule each time she was sent home so she could return (Carlson, Michael, “Norma McCorvey obituary,” The Guardian). This behavior gives us some insight into what living at home must have been like for her.
“ The entire case seems to be full of deceptions and pro-abortion manipulation. ”
McCorvey had only a ninth-grade education and married at the age of 16. Two years later, she gave birth to her first child, and afterwards began drinking heavily. She was physically abused from her mother throughout her childhood and later left her husband for the same reason. At one point, she went on a weekend trip, leaving her baby with her mother. When she returned, her mother had replaced the baby with a baby doll and called police to have McCorvey removed from her home for abandoning her baby. For three months her mother did not tell McCorvey where the baby was, but eventually let McCorvey move back in with her and allowed her to visit her daughter.
One day when McCorvey got home from work, her mother presented her with what she said were insurance papers. McCorvey signed them without reading them, only to learn they were adoption papers giving custody of her daughter to her mother. The next year, when McCorvey again gave birth—this time out of wedlock—she placed the baby for adoption (McCorvey, Norma & Meisler, Andy, 1994, I Am Roe, New York: Harper Collins).
“ McCorvey did not seem to be aware of this and was only hoping to be referred somewhere for an abortion. ”
In 1969, McCorvey became pregnant for the third time. Not wanting to care for another baby, she sought an abortion. At the time, abortion was banned in Texas where McCorvey resided except in cases of rape or incest. McCorvey’s friends advised her to falsely claim she had been raped. That attempt failed, however, due to lack of police evidence and documentation, although she held to that story for years. Another recommendation made to her was to visit an illegal abortion clinic; but when she arrived, it had been closed down by state authorities. Her doctor then referred her to an adoption lawyer, Henry McCluskey, who ultimately arranged for the adoption of her baby, who was born in 1970 (McCorvey & Meisler, 1994).
Henry McCluskey also referred McCorvey to two young lawyers who were looking for a case to give women the unquestioned right to abortion in the U.S. However, McCorvey did not seem to be aware of this and was only hoping to be referred somewhere for an abortion. She later lamented that neither lawyer told her how or where to get an abortion “because she [Sarah Weddington] needed me to be pregnant for her case. She saw the miserable person sitting across from her, and she knew she had a patsy” (Washington Post McCorvey obituary, February 18, 2017).
“ She had no interest in changing abortion laws. ”
Sarah Weddington had travelled to Mexico in 1967 while in her last year of law school to obtain an abortion, a fact she neglected to share with McCorvey. Upon graduating from law school, she joined a group of graduate students at University of Texas-Austin that were researching ways to challenge various anti-abortion statutes (Wikipedia).
“ She never appeared in court proceedings or told her story. ”
The other attorney, Linda Coffee, was a clerk for a federal judge in Texas and a member of the Women’s Equity Action League, which works toward equal employment opportunities for women. While Weddington appeared in court to argue the case, Coffee is credited with “finding” McCorvey (Joshua Prager, Vanity Faith, 1/17/17). She and Weddington agreed to take McCorvey's case to challenge Texas' anti-abortion law. This seems to corroborate McCorvey’s claim that she was nothing more than a pawn, and that she had no interest in changing abortion laws.
In the documentary Blood Money: The Business of Abortion, (2009), McCorvey says Weddington and Coffee appealed to women’s rights and equal wages to enlist her help. She never appeared in court proceedings or told her story—and just like the adoption papers with her first child, she never read the papers the lawyers asked her to sign. After Roe v. Wade was enacted, McCorvey did, however, become a pro-abortion advocate, working in abortion clinics and even speaking on behalf of the movement.
“ I was wrong…Abortion—at any point—was wrong. ”
Despite this, she never felt welcomed among them. Gloria Allred, women’s rights lawyer told the NY Times in 1995 that McCorvey was justified in her feelings: “She was shut out of many national pro-choice celebrations. She attended but for the most part was not invited and it was a very hurtful experience.”
In 1994, McCorvey was befriended by minister and National Director of Operation Rescue, (Maxwell, Joe; Maynard, Roy; August 26-September 2, 1995; “Miss Norma & Her Baby: Two Victims Who Got Away,” The Forerunner) and shortly after announced that she was a Christian and had crossed over to the pro-life side. Until the end of her life in 2017, she never wavered in that claim.
“ From the moment she professed Christianity, McCorvey’s life took a totally new direction ”
In her second book, Won by Love, McCorvey wrote: “I had to face up to the awful reality. Abortion wasn’t about ‘products of conception.’ It wasn’t about ‘missed periods.’ It was about children being killed in their mother’s wombs. All those years I was wrong. Signing that affidavit, I was wrong. Working in an abortion clinic, I was wrong…Abortion—at any point—was wrong.”
It was interesting to me as I did the research for this article, that pro-choice folks like Sarah Weddington are trying their best to paint McCorvey as a juvenile delinquent and emotionally unstable law breaker, who was always looking for a handout. Weddington attributed McCorvey’s conversion as someone who “really craved and sought attention” (McCorvey obituary, Washington Post, February 18, 2017). Yet from the moment she professed Christianity, McCorvey’s life took a totally new direction—forsaking all that she had been, including drinking, drugs, and a lengthy lesbian lifestyle.
“ Today, I publicly recant my involvement in the tragedy of abortion. I humbly ask forgiveness of the millions of women and unborn babies who have experienced the violence of abortion. ”
At the National Memorial for the Unborn in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is a plaque expressing McCorvey’s transformed views:
I am Norma McCorvey. I became known as Jane Roe on January 22, 1973, when the U.S. Supreme Court released the Roe V. Wade decision which created a woman's "right to abortion."
I am now a Child of God, a new creature in Christ. I am forgiven and redeemed.
Today, I publicly recant my involvement in the tragedy of abortion. I humbly ask forgiveness of the millions of women and unborn babies who have experienced the violence of abortion.
In this place of healing, the National Memorial for the Unborn, I stand with those who honor the worth of every unborn child as created in the image of God. I will strive in the name of Jesus, to end this holocaust.
“ I will strive in the name of Jesus, to end this holocaust. ”
Sunday, January 19, is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday—a day instituted by President Ronald Reagan in Proclamation 5761 on January 14, 1988. The entire proclamation is well worth reading [https://www.reaganlibrary.gov/research/speeches/011488d] and I thank God for the courage of President Reagan and those Presidents since who have chosen to honor that proclamation. Please honor it on January 19, by praying for an end to legalized abortion, for strength and courage for those on the forefront of the legal battle for life, for pregnancy centers on the frontlines as they reach out to the women considering abortions, and for the millions of women and men who have been led astray by the lies of legalized abortion. May they seek repentance through Jesus Christ and find forgiveness and hope in Him.
“ Please honor it on January 19, by praying for an end to legalized abortion ”
Now, therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim and declare the unalienable personhood of every American, from the moment of conception until natural death, and I do proclaim, ordain, and declare that I will take care that the Constitution and laws of the United States are faithfully executed for the protection of America's unborn children. Upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty God. I also proclaim Sunday, January 17, 1988, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day. I call upon the citizens of this blessed land to gather on that day in their homes and places of worship to give thanks for the gift of life they enjoy and to reaffirm their commitment to the dignity of every human being and the sanctity of every human life.