May 22, 2020 – A documentary airing today reveals that the plaintiff in the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, later revealed as Norma McCorvey, lied when she said she’d become pro-life in 1995. She disclosed on her deathbed that she’d accepted money from anti-abortion activist groups to renounce her pro-choice position.
Calling herself “the big fish,” McCorvey explained that she never actually turned her back on abortion but claimed she had because she was being paid, according to multiple news reports.
“I think it was a mutual thing,” she told the documentarian about her relationship to pro-life groups, in February 2017. “I took their money and they put me out in front of the cameras and told me what to say. And that’s what I’d say. I did it well, too. I am a good actress. Of course, I’m not acting now.” The film, which will air on FX, is titled “AKA Jane Roe.”
Operation Save America, an anti-abortion group first known as Operation Rescue then Operation Save America, denied McCorvey was paid by them. But Troy Newman, the group’s president, told CNN that the group would sometimes pay McCorvey honorariums of $500-$1,000 for speaking engagements.
Evangelical minister Rob Schenck—who had his own come-to-Jesus moment in the documentary—said McCorvey was “coached in what to say,” CNN reported. Schenck said he had actually cut McCorvey checks “and signed them and made them out to Norma.” He also said he was aware of other pro-life groups paying her too.
“What we did with Norma was highly unethical,” he said. “The jig is up.”
In 1969, when McCorvey was 21 and pregnant with her third child in Texas, she joined the lawsuit that became known as Roe. The case would solidify access to abortion in the U.S. As Roe made its way through the legal system over four years, McCorvey gave birth and put her child up for adoption, never receiving the abortion she wanted in the first place.
When McCorvey joined Operation Rescue in 1995, she was enthusiastically welcomed by the pro-life movement.
“The heart of the person who most symbolized abortion in this country has been touched and captured, if you will,” Bill Price, the president of Texans United for Life, an anti-abortion group, told The New York Times that year. “If you can change the mind of Jane Roe on this issue, there’s hope that anyone’s mind can be changed.”
But, as McCorvey revealed in 2017, her conversion as a born-again Christian was just a ruse to make money—although her pro-life position powerfully undermined the pro-choice movement regardless.
“It was a cultural coup for the right when McCorvey publicly turned against legal abortion,” columnist Michelle Goldberg wrote in The New York Times today, calling the confession a “bombshell.” “Jane Roe rejecting Roe v. Wade was something abortion opponents could throw in the faces of pro-choice activists.”
But the bomb has sputtered and fizzled with the revelations of the new documentary. McCorvey admitted in the film: “If a young woman wants to have an abortion, that’s no skin off my ass. That’s why they call it choice,” according to Reuters.
In 2005, Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan and Gloria Steinem founded the Women’s Media Center (WMC), a progressive, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to raise the visibility, viability and decision-making power of women and girls in media and, thereby, ensuring that their stories get told and their voices are heard. Link to original article: https://womensmediacenter.com/news-features/the-good-actress-jane-roe-reveals-she-lied-about-becoming-pro-life