The fascinating story of ROE v WADE’s Norma McCorvey

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Public outcry erupted in the United States of America when a leaked document revealed that the Supreme Court were on the verge of overturning Roe v Wade.

Roe v Wade made abortion legal, a personal choice for women across America.

The fascinating story of ROE v WADE’s Norma McCorvey. Source: FX/YouTube

Jane Roe was a name used to hide the identity of the real woman at the time in 1970, whose name was Norma McCorvey. o

Norma, a homeless 21 year old woman, was pregnant with her third in February 1970 and wanted an abortion, but the state of Texas prohibited abortion unless in exceptional cases.

So she made up a lie that she was raped by a group of black men. Due to lack of evidence, she confessed that she had lied and subsequently sought other for an illegal abortion.

When that was unsuccessful, she was introduced to two attorneys, Linda Coffee and Sarah Weddington who were looking for women like her, pregnant and seeking abortion, they offered to take her case to court pro-bono.

Norma wanted quick permission for abortion but was unsuccessful, so attorneys turned her case into a class action. It took three years for her case to reach the supreme court, in that time Norma had already given birth to a baby girl called Shelley Thornton.

Shelley was placed on adoption, Norma’s first child was adopted under controversial circumstances by her own mother, and the second was adopted by the child’s father.

Shortly after Shelley birth, Norma came out as a lesbian and began a relationship with Connie Gonzalez, a relationship that lasted until the early nineties.

The case was brought against Henry Wade, the then attorney of Dallas county, Texas, largely by this time by the attorneys who had now abandoned Norma.

Jane Roe won the case, but Norma became a recluse. The Supreme Court by a vote of seven to two in 1973, ruled that a woman had the right to abortion without government interference.

After a drive-by shooting assassination attempt on her life in 1989, she came out of shadows of Jane Roe and began granting interviews. She became an unlikely force for abortion movement,

What makes the case so fascinating was that after meeting meeting and befriending an evangelical minister, Flip Benham, Norma converted to Christianity, announced she was no longer a lesbian, quit her job at an abortion clinic and became an anti-abortion campaigner.

Norma shortly before her death in February 18, 2017, revealed in an FX documentary that she was not never really an anti-abortion campaigner, she did it for the money.

Even though Norma did it for the money, it remains a confusion that she stood in anti-abortion camp for more than twenty years up until death.

Read more
Wikipedia: Roe v Wade
Long Reads: Norma McCorvey Versus Jane Roe
Los Angeles Times: The woman behind ‘Roe vs. Wade’ didn’t change her mind on abortion. She was paid
THe NY Times: Key Abortion Plaintiff Now Denies She Was Raped
Medium: The Woman Behind Roe v. Wade Called It “The Biggest Mistake of My Life”
ScholarWorks: The Life and Legacy of Norma McCorvey

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