Three years after her death, a new documentary claims that Norma McCorvey, who was Jane Roe in the famous court case Roe v. Wade, was actually paid to become a pro-life supporter. If true, this is a rather shocking development and in many ways rewrites history.
Norma McCorvey is a bit of an enigma. She is the face of the Roe v. Wade court case, but she’s never actually had an abortion. As a young Christian, she renounced her romantic relationship with another woman, but continued to live with her for about ten years. And now, it appears as though despite publicly becoming a pro-life advocate, she supported abortion in her last days.
All of these contradictions are coming together in a documentary where McCorvey gives her “death bed confession,” with the biggest revelation being that she was paid to become a pro-life supporter.
According to The Daily Beast, the exchange went like this:
“This is my deathbed confession,” she chuckles, sitting in a chair in her nursing home room, on oxygen. Sweeney asks McCorvey, “Did [the evangelicals] use you as a trophy?” “Of course,” she replies. “I was the Big Fish.” “Do you think you would say that you used them?” Sweeney responds. “Well,” says McCorvey, “I think it was a mutual thing. I took their money and they took me out in front of the cameras and told me what to say. That’s what I’d say.” She even gives an example of her scripted anti-abortion lines. “I’m a good actress,” she points out. “Of course, I’m not acting now.”
Although it is impossible to question McCorvey, who passed away in 2017, it raises a multitude of questions.
McCorvey’s journey through the pro-abortion, pro-life movement is complex. She grew up in an impoverished community and dropped out of high school in the ninth grade. As a young woman, she was pregnant for a third time and wanted to have an abortion. She was targeted as a representative for a case that would challenge Texas’ abortion law, which eventually made its way to the Supreme Court in the infamous case Roe v. Wade in 1973.
By the 1990s, McCorvey had shared her identity as Jane Doe to the world and was working at an abortion clinic, which was right next door to an Operation Rescue pregnancy center. McCorvey, after developing a relationship with the pro-life group, then publicly announced her decision to become a born-again Christian and her desire to support the pro-life cause.
The documentary now seems to indicate that this decision was “all an act” in order to make money.
Unfortunately, it appears like the allegations might be true.
Rev. Rob Schenck, who was formerly with Operation Rescue and interviewed in the documentary, stated his belief that what she said is likely true.
When he saw McCorvey’s confession, he said, “I had never heard her say anything like this… But I knew what we were doing. And there were times when I was sure she knew. And I wondered, Is she playing us? What I didn’t have the guts to say was, because I know damn well we’re playing her” (emphasis in the original).
The documentary, entitled AKA Jane Roe and will be live for streaming on Hulu this Friday, discovered that McCorvey received approximately $456,911 in “benevolent gifts” while on the payroll at Operation Rescue. While this could be in part due to her role as a spokesperson for the organization, Schenck also seems to indicate that the money was also used to make sure that she didn’t switch back to the pro-abortion side.
Towards the end of the film McCorvey stated that she actually supports abortion. McCorvey said, “If a young woman wants to have an abortion—fine. That’s no skin off my a–. You know, that’s why they call it ‘choice.’ It’s your choice.”
In many ways, this documentary rewrites history and it could be used to portray all those that support the pro-life cause in a bad light, but the work being done at pro-life pregnancy resource centers (PRC) today do not reflect what allegedly happened in the 1990s. The women and men working and volunteering at PRCs across the country pour their hearts out to women grappling with unplanned pregnancies every day, and this documentary doesn’t change that.
The documentary premiers May 22 on the streaming platform Hulu.
Photo from YouTube