Norma McCorvey, an American woman that died last week was better known as Jane Roe as in the Roe vs. Wade lawsuit which started in 1969. At that time McCorvey found out she was pregnant but she was not interested in having another child. Since in Texas where she lived abortion were illegal she hired a team of women lawyers who were advocating for abortions at the time. Both lawyers petitioned to court after court in her name. In 1973, a few years after the girl she wanted to abort was born and given up for adoption, Norma’s case made it to the Supreme Court where in a surprising precedent legalized abortions for any woman that wanted it in any part of the United States.
When Norma’s identity became known she became a public hero, a champion of the pro-choice movement to legalize abortions. One abortion clinic actually hired her. But one day a religious group against abortions opened an office near the clinic where she worked and Norma McCorvey’s life started to change. One of the religious group’s leaders met Norma in a parking lot and accused her of “murdering baby boys and girls”. A few weeks later this same person came to her and apologized; “I saw that my word really hurt you very much”.
Later when Norma wrote an autobiography she wrote that she was surprised by the apology and went back into the clinic and started to cry.
The friendly way the anti-abortion activists treated her warmed up McCorvey’s heart. She would visit the offices and ask them to pray for her. The activists lost a lawsuit against Planned Parenthood for disrupting clinics in another city and owed them a million dollars. Their offices were cleaned out by county constables to help meet the payment of the lawsuit. McCorvey wanted to help them and even lent them a fax machine. In the end she came to the conclusion that her previous position was mistaken.
In 1995 she publicly renounced her previous position and joined the movement against abortions. “I think I have always been pro-life, I just didn’t know it,” McCorvey told a local radio station.
From that moment onwards, McCorvey devoted the rest of her life to fighting the abortion law. The woman that herself didn’t have an abortion but became the icon of the pro-choice movement which brought about millions of abortions a year did not stop regretting it.
Norma said when testifying before the Senate in 1998: “I am dedicated to spending the rest of my life undoing the law that bears my name.” Later on she also petitioned the Supreme Court to undo the Roe v Wade decision, but the court rejected her appeal. When Barack Obama spoke at the Roman Catholic University of Notre Dame in 2009, Norma protested. She also protested against the appointment of the pro-choice Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court and was arrested. Norma also made TV ads against Obama in 2012, which said: “Do not vote for Barack Obama, He murders babies.”
What made her change her mind? The warmth of the pro-life activists next door who were against her is what did it. In their merit “Something inside me simply changed.”