Monday, February 20, 2017
Remembering Roe: Norma McCorvey passes at age 69
Norma had an unstable childhood. She grew up in a broken home with an alcoholic mother. At just 16 she married Woody McCorvey and gave birth to her first child quickly after that. Not long into her marriage she left her husband after he began to abuse her.
In 1969 Norma found herself pregnant for the third time. At her age and situation, Norma knew she could not provide a stable household for her child, and so she sought an abortion. Texas law, however, protected unborn children in law. Someone told Norma about a young, ambitious lawyer named Sarah Weddington who was looking for pregnant women to serve as plaintiffs in abortion cases.
Norma was the perfect candidate for the young lawyer: she was a young single mom, she had one child being raised by her estranged mother, she had given her second child up for adoption and was now expecting a third child. Her young life had been overrun with drug addiction and alcohol abuse. Despite this, Norma said she made up a story about being raped to further defend getting an abortion.
While her case was making its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, in 1970 Norma gave birth to a healthy baby girl who was adopted by a family in Texas. Norma never had an abortion. Rather than abortion being the end, Norma's daughter's story likely continues today, maybe even with children of her own. Norma's daughter is oblivious to the fact that her life was the subject of a unjust decision which has led to the deaths of 57 million other unborn children.
On January 22, 1973, Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton were decided and abortion-on-demand was forced on all 50 states (the Doe of Doe v. Bolton, Sandra Cano, also vocally opposed abortion until her death in 2014). Sarah Weddington had won her case using the story of Norma McCorvey’s hardships.
A few years after the decision Norma came out as the face of "Roe." She attended pro-abortion marches and even began working at an abortion clinic herself. It wasn’t until 1994 when the prolife protest group Operation Rescue moved in to the building next to her abortion clinic that Norma's life changed course. The story of how she came to see abortion for what it truly was is told in an autobiographical book, Won By Love.
After those years of personal struggles Norma became vocally and actively prolife. She converted to Christianity and then joined the Catholic Church 1998. She testified to Congress that she was going to dedicate her life to overturning the decision that bears her name. Both her and Sandra Cano asked the U.S. Supreme Court to rehear Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, but tragically the justices had no need for their stories anymore after using them to achieve their intended desires.
Norma’s story is one that a lot of people sympathize with: a young addict with a rough upbringing, unable to provide for herself. When she went to look for an abortion, what she was really looking for was help. If someone would have been willing to interject and help her, rather than send her to ambitious pro-abortion lawyers, how different would Norma's life had been? How different would the life of millions of women have been if they were offered something more meaningful than a trip to an assembly-line abortion clinic?
It was not the abortion industry and their lofty pro-woman rhetoric that won Norma with their love, but a team of controversial prolife activists. More specifically, it was a budding seven-year-old prolife activist Emily and her little sister Chelsey who were willing to befriend Jane Roe. As Norma wrote in Won By Love:
"I put on my sunglasses so Emily and Chelsey couldn't see the tears welling up in my eyes. What happened? It was the first time abortion had been personalized for me. I no longer saw abortion as a convenient way of dealing with 'products of conception' or 'missed periods.' Instead abortion represented the 'legal right' to end the life of a child as precious as Emily. This beautiful girl could have been killed without penalty, I thought—and it was all my fault."
Without Norma, those seven judges would have found another Jane Roe. Norma's story is that a young, misguided woman looking for help was used as a pawn in the biggest court case in the history of our country. Her story mirrors the tens of millions of women who have since been sold abortions from revolving-door "clinics."
Let the story of "Jane Roe" inspire you to help women in a crisis pregnancy. Let it inspire you to see the value in every life and every child.
Just as it did for Miss Norma. R.I.P.