Ethics & Religion
Feb. 23, 2017
Norma McCorvey: Roe of Roe v. Wade
By Mike McManus
Last Saturday Norma McCorvey, better known as "Jane Roe" of the infamous
Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case legalizing abortion - died of heart
failure at age 69.
In 1969 Norma McCorvey was 22, pregnant and unwed when she approached an
attorney about wanting an abortion - then prohibited in Texas. She had
already given birth to two children who were adopted and did not want
another. She said she had been gang-raped, which she later confessed was
A lawsuit was filed with a pseudonym, "Jane Roe," a case decided by the
Supreme Court: Roe v. Wade. (Henry Wade was Dallas District Attorney.)
In 1973 the Supreme Court legalized abortion by stating that "Any woman
is entitled to an abortion at her request if she is able to find a
medical adviser willing to undertake the procedure."
Result: 58 million abortions!
Ironically, Norma McCorvey did not have an abortion! She also gave that
child up for adoption who was aged 4 when Roe v. Wade was decided.
For years she worked in abortion clinics, believing that women should
have the right to choose abortion, if desired. In 1982 she explained, "I
was glad to know some other poor woman wouldn't have to go through what
I did - seeing kids walking and wondering which one was hers."
Remarkably, she later became pro-life!
Operation Rescue opened an office next to the abortion clinic where she
worked. It was led by Pastor Flip Benham, who met Norma. She was stunned
by Flip's gentle, Christ-like love. She thought pro-lifers were hateful
and mean. He opened his big Bible, and gently led her to accept Jesus as
her Savior. He baptized her August 8, 1995.
Although Flip was not pastoring a church, he invited Norma to Metroplex
Chapel in Euless, Texas near Dallas. She drove to the church but was
afraid to enter, not knowing how Christians would respond to her, given
her identification with abortion. Fearfully, she drove around the church
three times, trying to get the courage to enter.
She saw Flip at the front door, waiting for her, and parked her car.
With her and Flip's permission, Dr. Jim Garlow, the pastor, introduced
her at the end of the service, telling the congregation that she was
"Jane Roe" of Roe v. Wade, who had come to Christ and had experienced
forgiveness of her sins. "I asked her to stand. She did. The crowd
erupted in an extended standing ovation," he recalls. "She was shocked.
She did not expect that."
After the service, nearly the entire congregation formed an extremely
long line to give her a hug and welcome her into the family of God.
"Norma McCorvey had not only experienced the love and forgiveness of
Jesus. She had now experienced the love and forgiveness of the body of
Christ - the church. It was an exhilarating day for us all," Garlow
She later made a pro-life TV ad in which she said, "You read about me in
history books, but now I am dedicated to spreading the truth about
preserving the dignity of all human life from natural conception to
Her life took another unexpected turn in the spring of 1998. She met
Father Frank Pavone, who leads "Priests for Life." Her mother was
Catholic and sometimes took her to church. She asked him, "Is there a
"Absolutely," he replied. "In Baptism we have a new life in Christ." She
asked him how to say the rosary, and he thought, "Wow, she will become
Some months later, she told him she had a dream. "Father, it seemed that
God was saying `You will be with me soon. I want you to come home.' Was
God saying that I am going to die pretty soon?" She asked.
Father Pavone replied, "I don't know. Ask Him. God will let you know."
A few weeks later, she told Father Pavone, "I know the answer to the
dream. I was meant to become a Catholic!"
That's great news! Wonderful!" he responded. She took instruction in
the Catholic faith, and made her second conversion.
For two decades, Norma McCorvey "has been a tremendous encouragement to
pro-life leaders, and spoken to vast numbers," Pavone told me. She
appeared on EWTN, the Catholic Eternal Word Television Network, which
sparked hundreds of speaking invitations.
She helped create "Silent No More," which is a healing network for those
who have had an abortion, and need healing from that pain. Women share
their stories of recovery.
Norma McCorvey, the person behind Roe v. Wade, converted twice to become
a pro-life heroine!
Official Website for Norma McCorvey:
Copyright (c) 2017 Michael J. McManus,
President of Marriage Savers and a syndicated columnist. For previous
columns go to
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