January 22, 2018, the cover date of this issue, marks the 45th anniversary of one of America’s most controversial decisions. In 1973, the Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade was settled, legalizing abortion nationwide, creating devastating effects that can be neither ignored nor erased.
Twenty-one-year-old Norma McCorvey, also known as Jane Roe in the prominent court case, was unmarried and pregnant with her third child. Seeking an abortion, she was introduced to two young attorneys, Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffey. Looking to challenge the abortion laws in Texas, the young lawyers decided to use McCorvey to facilitate their scheme. Adopting the falsehood that McCorvey’s pregnancy was due to a gang rape, Weddington and Coffey built their case on lies that would eventually claim the lives of untold numbers of unborn, not just in Texas, but nationwide.
McCorvey grew to regret her actions, as she began to understand the truth about abortion. In testimony before Congress on January 21, 1998, McCorvey lamented her part in Roe v. Wade:
Good morning. My name is Norma McCorvey. I’m sorry to admit that I’m the Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade.
The affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court didn’t happen the way I said it did, pure and simple. I lied! Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffey needed an extreme case to make their client look pitiable. Rape seemed to be the ticket. What made rape even worse? A gang rape! It all started out as a little lie, but my little lie grew and became more horrible with each telling.
Not only did I lie, but I was lied to. I did not come to the Supreme Court on behalf of a class of women. I wasn’t pursuing any legal remedy for my unwanted pregnancy. I did not go to the federal courts for relief. I met with Sarah Weddington to find out how I could obtain an abortion…. Sarah and Linda were looking for somebody, anybody, to use to further their own agenda. I was their most willing dupe.
Since all these lies succeeded in dismantling every state’s protection of the unborn, I think it’s fair to say that the entire abortion industry is based on a lie.
In her biography The Story of Norma McCorvey — The Woman Who Became Jane Roe, she recalled her previous notion on the subject: “Abortion, to me, meant ‘going back’ to the condition of not being pregnant.” She believed, and was told, that the baby growing inside of her was “just a piece of tissue.” This belief changed with McCorvey’s conversion to Christianity.
Like McCorvey, many have held the erroneous belief that early pregnancy yielded nothing more than a lifeless mass of tissue with no human value. Early in the abortion era, religious faith seemed to be the only foundational reason for those not adhering to that view. Fortunately, our knowledge has progressed.
Photo: AP Images
This article appears in the January 22, 2018, issue of The New American. To download the issue and continue reading this story, or to subscribe, click here.
Thanks to scientific advancement, we now have objective proof that as early as six weeks into pregnancy, the heartbeat of a living human being can be detected. Also, the consensus as to when the baby begins to feel pain is at 20 weeks, yet at this point in pregnancy, a woman is able to end the human life growing inside of her.
In 2016, Utah passed a law requiring anesthesia for babies being murdered in the womb at 20 weeks and after. Though it would seem backward and counterproductive to relieve the suffering of one being allowed to be legally murdered, we must remember our confused place in history concerning human life.
With the unfortunate victory of Roe v. Wade came the spiraling degradation of the sanctity of life. Only in an immoral culture can individuals acknowledge human life and justify its barbaric murder for the sake of convenience. However, there has been a shift, as more individuals, groups, and legislatures have begun to speak out and act against these atrocities — a shift that could bring the head and heart into alignment.
One notable change comes from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The organization recently released its draft HHS Strategic Plan (2014-2018), acknowledging, for the first time, that life begins at conception and that it needs to be protected. Addressing its agenda to “enhance the health and well-being of Americans,” the plan states, “HHS accomplishes its mission through programs and initiatives that cover a wide spectrum of activities, serving and protecting Americans at every stage of life, beginning at conception.”
This acknowledgment of the sanctity of life is what McCorvey spent the rest of her changed life fighting for. She emphatically declared in her testimony before Congress, “I am dedicated to spending the rest of my life undoing the law that bears my name. It is my sincere prayer that there be no 30th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.”
May we endeavor, 20 years later, to continue Norma McCorvey’s fight to end the lie of Roe v. Wade.
Photo: AP Images