Many people probably aren’t aware of the identity of Jane Roe in the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion.
Her real name was Norma McCorvey. Interestingly enough, she never had an abortion and later regretted her part in that decision. In fact, she worked for its overturn.
Norma McCorvey’s death
Norma McCorvey died on February 19 at the age of 69 of heart failure. Her family issued a statement, part of which said, “Losing a loved one is always a difficult time for a family. Losing a loved one who was also a public figure at the center of a national controversy brings additional challenges. It also brings additional consolations.
“We are, therefore, grateful to so many people across America and around the world who, in these days, are expressing their condolences, their prayers, and their gratitude for the example Mom gave them in standing up for life and truth. Though she was the Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade, she worked hard for the day when that decision would be reversed.”
Her views changed
Her views on abortion did change substantially. She asserted in the 1980s that she had been the “pawn” of two young and ambitious lawyers who were looking for a plaintiff with whom they could challenge the Texas state law prohibiting abortion.
Her case took three years to reach the Supreme Court, and she never attended a single trial. In the meantime, she gave birth to the baby in question, who was adopted.
In her book, Won by Love (1998), Norma says why she changed her mind on abortion. She talks about seeing a fetal development poster. “I kept seeing the picture of that tiny, 10-week-old embryo, and I said to myself, that’s a baby! It’s as if blinders just fell off my eyes and I suddenly understood the truth — that’s a baby!”
She now understood that 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.”
Norma converted to Catholicism. She was received into the Catholic Church by Fr. Frank Pavone, director of Priests for Life, and Fr. Edward Robinson in Dallas.
She became active in the pro-life movement. In 2005, she petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn the 1973 decision saying that abortion harms women. The court denied her petition.
Norma McCorvey’s life shows that conversion is indeed possible. We should pray that the hearts and minds of others will be changed to realize the harm abortion does to babies and mothers.
May Norma rest in peace.