Saturday, February 18, 2017
Roe v. Wade PLAINTIFF Norma McCorvey DIES
Norma McCorvey — better known as the “Jane Roe” behind the landmark Supreme Court abortion case Roe v. Wade — has died at an assisted living facility in Texas.
McCorvey was 69, and died Saturday of a heart ailment, the Washington Post reported.
McCorvey was 22, unwed, poor and suffering from addiction when she sought a safe abortion in 1970 in her home state of Texas, where, as in most states at the time, the procedure was banned except when the mother’s life was at stake.
By the time the case dragged out in appeals and the Supreme Court announced its decision, her baby was 2 ½ years old; McCorvey had given the child up for adoption and learned of the ruling in the newspapers, the Washington Post reported.
The 1973 Supreme Court ruling established that the constitutional right to privacy includes the choice to terminate a pregnancy.
For years, McCorvey had claimed that her Roe pregnancy was the result of rape, but she recanted that claim in 1987.
McCorvey was not the first plaintiff to challenge a state abortion law, but “Roe” became the first case to wind its way up to the Supreme Court.
Years later, McCorvey became a born-again Christian and an anti-abortion activist.
She spoke bitterly about how her attorneys used her as a test case when all she wanted was a safe abortion.
“She needed me to be pregnant for her case,” she told the New York Time in 1994, speaking of one of her lawyers.