I have always believed that one of the most unfortunate and weakest chapters in the pro-choice movement is Jane Roe. Yes, Jane Roe, that Roe…the “Roe” in the 1973 landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe vs. Wade. Jane Roe aka. Norma Leah McCorvey, is now in her sixties, and a pro-life church going lesbian living in Texas. In her biography, I Am Roe: My Life, Roe v. Wade, and Freedom of Choice, McCorvey claims she was manipulated by her lawyers Linda Coffee and Sarah Weddington during the 1970’s trials. She also admitted that she lied about her pregnancy being the result of a rape.
Clinging to her pro-life stance and religion, she was arrested yesterday during Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation hearing.
The Washington Post
By Paul Kane
Monday, July 13, 2009
The woman at the center of the Supreme Court’s landmark abortion rights ruling was arrested today at the confirmation hearing for Sonia Sotomayor among a wave of anti-abortion protesters who lined the sidewalks outside the Senate office buildings and several of whom made it into the hearing room and disrupted in an attempt to disrupt the proceedings.
Norma McCorvey, 61, of Texas, better known as “Jane Roe” in the famous Roe v. Wade case from January 1973, was arrested after she and another protester started yelling during the opening statement of Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), according to Capitol Police. McCorvey, whose pursuit of the right to access to abortion in the early 1970s led to the ruling that has been a pivotal part of every Supreme Court nomination process since, eventually become a notable opponent of the procedure.
Sgt. Kimberly Schneider of the Capitol Police said McCorvey and Francis Mahoney, 68, of Florida were charged with unlawful conduct for disrupting Congress, the third and fourth such arrests the police made during the more than five-hour proceedings. McCorvey was part of the group of protesters outside the Hart Senate Office Building throughout the day, a gathering led by Randall Terry, the former head of Operation Rescue, an organization dedicated to ending abortion.
McCorvey, who used Roe as an alias in her court filings for fear of retribution, remained an abortion-rights supporter until the mid-1990s. Working at a women’s clinic in Dallas, she befriended some Operation Rescue protesters. In 1995, she was baptized and has been an anti-abortion activist ever since.
The last two rows of the hearing room were reserved today for about 50 members of the public, who rotated into the hearings for short intervals and then were escorted out to allow others to view the proceedings. McCorvey and Mahoney were part of a group headed out as Franken was praising the service of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), a staunch supporter of the Roe decision. Kennedy left the Judiciary Committee earlier this year, making this the first Supreme Court confirmation fight without his presence since 1965.
When McCorvey and Mahoney started shouting, they were quickly removed from the room. Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), Judiciary Committee chairman, banged the gavel on the crowd for the third time today.
“Officers, please remove whoever is causing the disturbance,” Leahy said. “Again, as Senator Sessions and I have said, this is a meeting of the United States Senate. We’ll show respect to everybody who is here, we will show respect to everybody, including to Judge Sotomayor, to the Senators on both sides of the aisle, and we will have order in this room.”
In exploring the pro-choice versus pro-life positions, I remained pro-choice despite my new identification as a conservative. The days of coat hangers and drinking turpentine are thankfully over and it should remain that way. Norma McCorvey is free to change her mind as much as she wants. What I do take issue with is her openly fighting the right to choose for other women. The hypocrisy is a bit astonishing. Even if I was once pro-choice and I did convert to pro-life as a personal choice, which I have by the way, I would not advocate and deny that choice for other women. Whether she likes it or not, McCorvey’s alter ego “Roe” left a distinguishing mark in American History. She is the ultimate “herstory” and I embrace her right to protest. However, I feel that she would be more effective as an pro-life advocate if she allowed her story to fruitfully serve as focus point for provative discussions on abortion. In a sense, McCorvey is a living relic of history, a historical actor. She should speak about her motivations in 1971 as juxtaposed with those during the 1990’s which led her to convert to pro-life. All puns aside, Norma McCorvey should find more effective ways to be productive for the pro-life movement. Getting yourself arrested at protests is actually quite liberal and in the end nothing but a bunch of noise and court hearings.
There I said it.
When I was a liberal, I was never into that.
Perhaps if Ms. McCorvey told her story in a less progressive fashion, she could actually influence teenagers such as Bristol Palin to choose abstinence. It worked for Afrocity and yes I am pro-choice but I will always feel that abstinence is best for teenagers.
Autographed Letter Signed,