Culture, Science & Faith

Roe v. Wade Plaintiff Dies of Broken Heart

Norma McCorvey became a pro-life advocate, but she finished her fight.

Mark Alexander · Feb. 20, 2017

Over the years, our family has had the opportunity to host many interesting guests in our home. In 1995, Norma McCorvey (Roe v. Wade) and Sandra Cano (Doe v. Bolton) spent a Sunday afternoon with us.

That year, my wife and I were engaged in the reconstruction of a former abortion clinic into a national memorial site for aborted children — a place where mothers and fathers of those children could tangibly memorialize the loss of their child. Our mission was not a political crusade but motivated out of a desire to provide the parents of aborted children, who in retrospect more fully understood the loss of life involved in their choice, a place to memorialize and grieve that loss.

Norma McCorvey was the anonymous plaintiff “Jane Roe” in a 1970 case ruled on by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973, opening the door for abortion in every state. Justice Harry A. Blackmun, who wrote the majority opinion, noted, “The word ‘person,’ as used in the 14th Amendment, does not include the unborn.” Sandra Cano was the anonymous plaintiff Mary Doe in Doe v. Bolton, a companion case decided the same day as Roe v. Wade, giving mothers of babies before birth a very broad range of reasons to declare a need for an abortion — in essence, abortion on demand.

Both McCorvey and Cano would later protest having been used as “pawns” in these cases. For her part, Norma McCorvey, once she understood the larger context for her Creator and that of all pre-birth babies, became an outspoken pro-life advocate for these children, as noted in her 2005 Senate testimony.

McCorvey concluded, “Upon knowing God, I realized that my case, which legalized abortion on demand, was the biggest mistake of my life. You see, abortion has eliminated 50 million innocent babies in the U.S. alone since 1973. Abortion scars an untold number of post-abortive mothers and fathers and families, too. I believe that I was used and abused by the court system in America. Instead of helping women in Roe v. Wade, I brought destruction to me and millions of women throughout the nation.”

In a later interview, she made clear her life mission: “I am dedicated to spreading the truth about preserving the dignity of all human life from natural conception to natural death.”

Both McCorvey and Cano delivered statements at the dedication of the National Memorial for the Unborn in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Those statements, cast in bronze on the wall of the Memorial, read as follows:

“Roe v. Wade — I am Norma McCorvey. I became known as Jane Roe on January 22, 1973, when the U.S. Supreme Court released the Roe v. Wade decision which created a woman’s ‘right to abortion.’ I am now a Child of God, a new creature in Christ. I am forgiven and redeemed. Today, I publicly recant my involvement in the tragedy of abortion. I humbly ask forgiveness of the millions of women and unborn babies who have experienced the violence of abortion. In this place of healing, the National Memorial for the Unborn, I stand with those who honor the worth of every unborn child as created in the image of God. I will strive in the name of Jesus, to end this holocaust. NORMA McCORVEY March 23, 1997”

“Doe v. Bolton — I am Sandra Cano. I became known as Mary Doe when the U.S. Supreme Court released Roe v. Wade’s companion decision, Doe v. Bolton, which allowed abortion for virtually any reason. I am against abortion; I never sought an abortion; I have never had an abortion. Abortion is murder. For over twenty years, and against my will, my name has been synonymous with abortion. The Doe V. Bolton case is based on deceit and fraud. I stand today in this place of healing, the National Memorial for the Unborn, and pledge to the memory of these innocent children, that as long as I have breath, I will strive to see abortion ended in America. SANDRA CANO March 23, 1997”

Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, is lobbying Democrats in Congress to ensure continuation of its $540 million in annual taxpayer grants for “women’s health.”

On Saturday, Norma McCorvey died of heart failure. Rest in peace. While her walk in defense of the most innocent among us has come to an end, our mission in their defense remains steadfast.

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