“Jane Roe” in her own words as America celebrates half a century of the landmark abortion decision.

It was 1969. Norma McCorvey was 22, pregnant and unmarried when she asked her lawyer to have an abortion.

The Dallas woman didn’t get it, but four years later her lawsuit against Texas’ ban on abortion made it to the Supreme Court and made the procedure legal throughout the United States before the court overturned it 49 years later in the Mississippi case.

McCorvey was “Jane Roe” in Roe vs. Wade, who died at the age of 69 from heart disease in 2017. She changed camps in the mid-1990s when she joined the anti-abortion movement of an evangelical pastor who baptized her in a garland. swimming pool.

“Miss Norma” has been a complex figure in the abortion debate. McCorvey, who once self-identified as a lesbian, admitted she lied about the gang rape in order to end her pregnancy. But after her “born again” experience, she got into a fight with her pastor over his protests outside a predominantly LGBT church.

Throughout her life, McCorvey struggled with addiction and unemployment, and decades in the spotlight did not lead to financial stability. Her life is described in two autobiographies and interviews she gave.

This is how she told her story over the years.

In 1973, in Baptist Press, the news service for the Southern Baptist Convention, on a pregnancy she didn’t want:

“I was a lonely woman with nowhere to go and no work. Nobody wanted to hire a pregnant woman. I felt that there was no one in the world who could help me.”

In 1982 to Dallas Morning Newslearning that she had won in the Supreme Court:

“I was sad. I thought I was deceived, but everyone feels this way sometime in their life.

“But I was happy for everyone else. I was glad to know that some other poor woman would not have to go through what I had to go through. I thought at least she wouldn’t have to face the anguish of waking up in the morning and driving to work, seeing kids walking around and wondering which one was hers. Because it’s not easy to give up what you helped grow, no matter how the seed got there.”

Norma McCorvey (left) with attorney Gloria Allred in 1989 was “Jane Roe” in Roe v. Wade.(File)

In 1987, WUSA-TV in Washington revealed that she had lied about the rape:

“I found out I was pregnant because of what I thought was love. I went to my doctor. He confirmed that I was pregnant, and I told him that I wanted to have an abortion, that I did not want to carry a child for economic reasons.”

In 1994 to Age in Australia about his work in an abortion clinic:

“When I see these women enter the clinic, I mentally tell them: “Dude, this is a great place.” It’s clean and beautiful. They have no idea how it was. But honey, it’s true, we should have got all those rights when they first arrived on the Mayflower.

In his 1994 autobiography, I’m Rowe: My Life, Rowe W. Wade, and Freedom of Choice:

“Am I a role model? No. It is true that for most of my life I lived at the bottom of American society. All these years I have struggled with oppression, but also with my own demons. Many times when I was confused, desperate, or out of control, the demons acted on me in their own way. Sometimes I despaired. Sometimes I lost hope. But hope has always returned to me.”

In the same book: “I was not the person who became Jane Roe. I was not the right person to be Jane Roe. I was just the person who became Jane Roe in Roe v. Wade. And the story of my life, with the warts and everything, was a little piece of history.”

In March 1995 in Dallas Morning Newsafter an anti-abortion group moved near the abortion clinic where she worked:

“If it comes to confrontation, we will arrange it. We will have abortions as long as the women want it.”

Her message on an answering machine in August 1995, after she changed her mind about abortion and was baptized:

“There will be no more press statements, no public speeches from me anymore. I’ll be an ordinary person, Norma McCorvey.”

In the same month to daily mail in London that he is a symbol of the right to abortion:

“Being Jane Roe was a heavy burden. I remember 10 years ago I drove past the school playground and saw these empty swings. I got mad. I thought: “All the playgrounds are empty, all the children are dead, and this is because of me.”

“I told my gynecologist about my feelings, and he said: “Norma, it’s summer. School is over.”

Flip Benham, director of Operation Rescue National, christens Norma McCorvey, who was Row...
Flip Benham, director of Operation Rescue National, baptizes Norma McCorvey, who was Roe in the Roe W. Wade case, which established abortion rights in the Garland Basin country. ((Photo from 1995 archive / Louis DeLuca))

In a 1997 interview with Reverend Frank Pavone, head of Priests for Life:

“Well, I mean, I said in an interview with Ted Koppel back in 1995 that I’m still in favor of the choice; I still was not for the choice, but for the abortion of a woman in the first trimester. But then I looked at a fetal development chart at the rescue office in Dallas. I had a lot of emotions running through me, and that’s when I decided it wasn’t right at any stage of pregnancy.”

In June 1998, CNN on the leaders of the abortion rights movement:

“They could have been nice to me instead of treating me like an idiot.”

In October 1998, in The Associated Press about how her pastor Flip Benham advised her to move out of the house she shared with the woman who used to be her romantic partner:

“Flip was hysterical about all this. He said he was my leader. I don’t like it when people try to control me, and I rebelled.”

In 2003, at a press conference after she filed a petition that ultimately did not overturn the Roe v. Wade decision:

“I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders.”

In 2006 to Dallas Morning Newsafter she asked for financial help, explaining that she was taking care of her roommate and not working for her anti-abortion ministry:

“It’s not easy. We are basically dependent on the ministry for money, but the ministry is running out. We have to pay half the bill here and half the other there. If we have money, we send $10 to everyone.”

In the same interview about his conscience: “I still feel very ashamed of being associated with Rowe vs. Wade. Although I know that God has forgiven me, the truth is, most of the time I can’t forgive myself.”

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