Skip to comments.Meet the real Jane Roe; McCorvey shares experiences in Spearfish
Posted on 10/26/2004 11:43:15 PM PDT by conservative in nyc
SPEARFISH - Throughout Norma McCorvey's life she has been struggling. Whether it was with alcoholism or coming to grips with abortion, she has fought all the way. The 22-year-old McCorvey was homeless, destitute and unwed when she found herself pregnant for the second time in 1969. Thinking she had only one option, she went to an illegal Dallas abortion clinic but was turned away. The abortionists had been raided just weeks before and would not terminate her pregnancy. While talking with an adoption lawyer, McCorvey was introduced to two young attorneys looking for a woman to sign on for a test case they wanted to argue. McCorvey did and began a debate over abortion that went to the U.S. Supreme Court and continues to rage today.
McCorvey, better known by her pseudonym Jane Roe, spent years battling Dallas district attorney Henry Wade for her right to abort her baby. It was during that fight that she gave birth to a baby girl which was given up for adoption. The Supreme Court finally made a decision on Roe v. Wade in 1973 making abortion legal, but that was not the end of McCorvey's role in abortion.
McCorvey, now a staunch pro-life activist, was in Spearfish Monday to share her story with nearly 500 supporters of the Northern Hill Pregnancy Care Center at its annual fund-raising dinner and dessert auction. Northern Hills Pregnancy Care Center is an evangelical ministry in Spearfish catering to women and families dealing with unplanned pregnancies.
McCorvey said she was glad to be able to help the center. "I'm very happy to see this room full of pro-lifers supporting this great organization," she said. "There were not crisis pregnancy programs like this in the early days. If there were things might have been much different today."
But McCorvey's fairly sordid life revolved around abortion. After the landmark Supreme Court ruling, McCorvey went to work in four different abortion clinics. It was when a pro-life group moved in next door to the Dallas abortion clinic where she worked that she began to see a different side to the abortion argument.
Pastor Flip Benham and his Operation Rescue had rented office space directly next door to McCorvey's clinic and sparks flew immediately. "When I fist saw all those Operation Rescue people coming I was scared," she said.
But that fear turned to curiosity as the days and weeks went by. "I was fascinated by the rescuers," she said. "I would watch them and try to figure out what made them tick."
It was two young rescuers that helped McCorvey in her conversion. Seven-year-old Emily and 4-year-old Chelsey Mackey often accompanied their mother Ronda to the Operation Rescue offices and shared a lot with McCorvey. McCorvey said it was through those children and the daily confrontations and discussions she had with Rescuers that she began to see the human side of abortion. "It took weeks up weeks to where we weren't yelling at each other all the time," she said.
It was one discussion with Benham that she really began to see the light. He quoted a passage from Deuteronomy concerning the choice over life or death. "That really hit a chord," she said.
And despite a life of alcoholism, drug addiction, drug dealing and lesbianism, McCorvey said she eventually found forgiveness in Jesus Christ and gave up her life in abortion clinics. "I am 100 percent sold out to Jesus Christ," she said. "I know I have been forgiven for my role in Roe."
McCorvey went to work with Benham with Operation Rescue but left to start her own ministry in 1996. Originally called Roe No More, it is now called Crossing Over Ministries and includes several other well-known anti-abortion activists. "We've been roaming the country talking to post-abortive women getting their testimony about the pain of abortion," she said.
McCorvey has tried legally to undo what was done in 1973. She filed a suit in 2003, but it was dismissed only two days later. The case was appealed and was recently thrown out. McCorvey said they refiled within 48 hours and she is willing to take it as far as she can. "We'll take it all the way back to the Supreme Court if we have to," she said.
And after more than 30 years, McCorvey has come full circle on the abortion issue, even though she has never had one herself. "A lot of people think I have, but I haven't," she said. "I don't think I could have gone through with it."
McCorvey had three daughters, two of which were adopted out and she has never seen. The other, Melissa, has given McCorvey two grandchildren.
Roxie Johnson, director of Northern Hills Pregnancy Care Center, said she was honored that McCorvey came to speak in Spearfish for her organization. "Norma is just a really precious daughter of God," she said.
Over 1,500 women have been helped by care center, according to Johnson, and she wants to help more. The center is embarking on a capital campaign to make the center a qualified medical center with an ultrasound. "Studies show that if women can actually see the baby through an ultrasound, they are more likely to carry them to term," she said.
For more information on the Northern Hills Pregnancy Care Center, call 642-4140
Very interesting, thank you.
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