WACO, Texas (WordNews) Feb. 19, 2017 – Norma McCorvey, Jane Roe in the 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade case that made abortion legal nationally, died yesterday at the age of 69.
McCorvey had become a Christian and an outspoken opponent of abortion in her later years.
Yesterday, both sides remembered her.
Not long after her conversion to Christianity, McCorvey wrote: “I’m Norma McCorvey, the former Jane Roe of the Roe v. Wade decision that brought legal child killing to America. I was persuaded by feminist attorneys to lie; to say that I was raped, and needed an abortion. It was all a lie. Since then, over 50 million babies have been murdered. I will take this burden to my grave. Please, don’t follow in my mistakes.” [Video].
Yesterday, Operation Rescue/Operation Save America issued a release declaring: “She did not go to the grave with that burden. She went to the grave with the salvation of her Lord. He took the burden, her debt of sin upon Himself and through His crucifixion and resurrection, redeemed Miss Norma’s guilt-ridden soul. The old Norma died (Pre Roe) and a new Norma emerged (Post Roe).”
The Rev. Flip Benham, who baptized McCorvey, said there were times when McCorvey struggled with guilt from her involvement with abortion. [Editor’s Note: While McCorvey’s pregnancy was at the center of the Roe v. Wade case, she ended up not having an abortion but giving her daughter up in adoption].
Benham said he shared with McCorvey the Bible verse “I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame” found in Psalms 34:4, 5.
According to the New York Times, McCorvey had a tough life, described as a “Dickensian nightmare.” She was an unwanted child living in a broken home, a runaway who married at the age of 16, was divorced and later left pregnant by three different men.
She met Benham, then national director of Operation Rescue, across protest lines after Operation Rescue opened an office next door to the abortion clinic where she was working in Dallas, Texas. Not long after, she attended his church and within months became a born again Christian and was baptized. She shared her story in the book, “Won by Love.”
In her poem, “Empty Playgrounds,” McCorvey wrote:
The sun is now setting, and my heart hurts, Lord.
For the numbers who from abortion have been torn apart.
I pray you can put them back together and make them whole.
“Looking back on how the Lord has used this ministry, we rejoice in the thousands of lives that have been spared, the souls that have been saved, like Miss Norma, and the many death camps that have been shut down,” said the Rev. Rusty Lee Thomas, current National Director of Operation Rescue/Operation Save America. “We pray the death of Roe (Miss Norma) prophetically signals the death of Roe vs. Wade. May the destroyer of men made in the image of God be destroyed in Jesus’ mighty name!”
Benham, the former National Director of Operation Rescue/Operation Save America, said some key figures in the pro-choice movement did about faces on the issue.
“The three people most instrumental in ushering us into the era of Roe v. Wade, Dr. Barnard Nathanson (founder of NARAL), Sandra Cano (Jane Doe of Doe v. Bolton), and Norma McCorvey (Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade), are now all in the great cloud of witnesses cheering us on as we continue to fight for the lives of our Lord’s precious preborn babies,” Benham said. “All three lied or were lied to, to give us this damnable law. All three were sinners saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. All three, in their Christian years, did their very best to undo the lies that gave us Roe v. Wade. All three are today more alive than they have ever been. All three have run their lap of the race. It is our turn now! Good night for now Miss Norma – we will see you in the morning!”
Not everyone connected to the early cause of abortion rights has had a change of heart. One of McCorvey’s attorneys, Gloria Allred, issued the following statement to NBC:
“Even though at the end of her life Norma thought women should be prevented from having an abortion and that abortion should be criminalized, her legacy will be Roe v. Wade, which has provided millions of women the legal right to choose abortion — a right which remains under attack and which I am committed to protect.”
Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue, disagreed with Allred’s take on McCorvey’s legacy.
“She spent the better part of the last 25 years working to undo the terrible Supreme Court decision that bears her name,” said Newman. “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.”