Norma McCorvey, better known as “Jane Doe” in the infamous Roe v. Wade United States Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, is being remembered as a pro-life icon and champion after her death on Thursday at the age of 69.
Passing away at an assisted-living facility in Katy, Texas, McCorvey ended up never having an abortion, eventually becoming a pro-life hero by committing her life to overturning the landmark case bearing her pseudonym.
God had a plan in the midst of darkness
Legalizing virtually unlimited abortions in America was one of the last things on McCorvey’s mind when entering the lawsuit in the early 1970s.
“McCorvey never wanted an abortion – she was seeking a divorce from her husband – but young, pro-abortion feminist attorney Sarah Weddington used McCorvey’s case as a means of attempting to overturn Texas’ law making most abortions illegal,” Life News reported. “Weddington took the case all the way to the Supreme Court, which invalidated every pro-life state law in the nation protecting unborn children and the rest is history.”
Even though the converted pro-life advocate attempted to have a legal abortion to end her unplanned pregnancy, she ended up deciding against it, and she later asserted that her Supreme Court case was the biggest mistake of her life.
“Back in 1973, I was a very confused 21-year-old with one child and facing an unplanned pregnancy,” McCorvey explained in a video ad, later admitting that her claim that her pregnancy was a result of rape was a lie – like virtually everything else the case was based on. “At the time, I fought to obtain a legal abortion, but truth be told, I have three daughters and never had an abortion. I think it’s safe to say that the entire abortion industry is based on a lie … I am dedicated to spending the rest of my life undoing the law that bears my name. You read about me in history books, but now I am dedicated to spreading the truth about preserving the dignity of all human life from natural conception to natural death.”
Because of the timing of the case, McCorvey ended up giving birth to a perfectly healthy baby girl.
“[B]efore the Supreme Court could decide whether McCorvey did have a constitutional right to end her unborn daughter’s life, it had to overcome a procedural obstacle that slowed down the process – a delay that factored into whether her daughter would ever have a family,” Life News’ Steven Ertelt informed. “Because of that delay, McCorvey had already had the child by the time the Supreme Court issued its decision in January 1973. She had been adopted into a Texas home, perhaps somewhere in the Dallas area where McCorvey lived. The court nevertheless said that McCorvey’s case was not moot since her circumstances were ‘capable of repetition’ because courts would never be able to decide the question during the time of a woman’s pregnancy.”
Pro-life leaders fondly remember ‘Roe’
Operation Rescue President Troy Newman was a longtime friend of McCorvey – who lived with the nationally renowned pro-life activist’s family for several months in Wichita, Kansas – and he had nothing but praises for her after learning of her death Thursday.
"I am deeply saddened at the loss of our dear friend Norma McCorvey,” Newman expressed in a press release, noting that after her case, she not only converted to pro-life, but to Christianity, as well. “She spent the better part of the last 25 years working to undo the terrible Supreme Court decision that bears her name. Her work was not in vain. Norma became an inspiration for so many, and we at Operation Rescue work every day to achieve her goal of ending abortion in America."
Priests for Life National Director Frank Pavone, who was also a longtime friend of McCorvey, remembers her as an inspiration to all women.
“Norma’s story will live on,” Pavone expressed, according to WND. “It is a story of hope. If she can convert, and find forgiveness from her involvement with abortion, then anyone can. And if she could say one thing right now to the world, I’m convinced it would be, ‘Learn my story, and have hope.’”
Another American pro-life leader, National Right to Life President Carol Tobias stressed that even though pro-abortion advocates ignored, shunned and ridiculed McCorvey, her memory will always be dear to those who honor and cherish the sanctity of human life.
“While pro-abortion advocates used Norma McCorvey to advance their efforts to legalize abortion in the early 1970s, she spent the last half of her life attempting to right the terrible wrong that the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions legalizing abortion visited upon the country,” Tobias stated upon hearing of McCorvey’s death. “Norma became an outspoken advocate for protecting the lives of mothers and their unborn children, speaking at right-to-life events across the country, including the National Right to Life convention. Norma McCorvey was a friend and valued ally in the fight for life and she will be deeply missed.”