thejournal.io | browse concepts or read more news
Norma McCorvey, at center of landmark abortion ruling, dies
DALLAS (AP) — Norma McCorvey, whose legal challenge under the pseudonym "Jane Roe" led to the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision that legalized abortion but who later became an outspoken opponent of the procedure, has died. She was 69.
-2 points by Arizona Daily Star | Roe v. Wade Supreme Court of the United States Abortion debate John G. Roberts Abortion Norma McCorvey Nancy Pelosi Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Woman at center of landmark ‘Roe v. Wade’ case dies
DALLAS — Norma McCorvey, whose legal challenge under the pseudonym “Jane Roe” led to the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision that legalized abortion but who later became an outspoken opponent of the procedure, died yesterday. She was 69.McCorvey died at an assisted living center in Katy, Texas, said journalist Joshua Prager, who is working on a book about McCorvey and was with her and her family when she died. He said she died of heart failure and had been ill for some time.
7 points by Boston Herald | Roe v. Wade Supreme Court of the United States Abortion Abortion debate Gerald Ford Pro-choice John G. Roberts Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Norma McCorvey, Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade, dead at 69
McCorvey died of a heart ailment at an assisted-living facility in Katy, Texas.
1626 points by Daily News | Roe v. Wade Abortion Pro-choice Norma McCorvey Sarah Weddington Abortion debate Supreme Court of the United States Linda Coffee
Norma McCorvey, 'Jane Roe' of Roe v. Wade, dies at 69
Her death was confirmed by Joshua Prager, a journalist currently at work on a book about Roe v. Wade. The cause was a heart ailment. Norma McCorvey, who was 22, unwed, mired in addiction and poverty, and desperate for a way out of an unwanted pregnancy when she became Jane Roe, the pseudonymous plaintiff of the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade that established a constitutional right to an abortion, died Saturday at an assisted-living facility in Katy, Texas. She was 69. Her death was confirmed by Joshua Prager, a journalist currently at work on a book about Roe v. Wade. The cause was a heart ailment. McCorvey was a complicated protagonist in a legal case that became a touchstone in the culture wars, celebrated by champions as an affirmation of women's freedom and denounced by opponents as the legalization of murder of the unborn. When she filed suit in 1970, she was looking not for a sweeping ruling for all women from the highest court in the land, but rather, simply, the right to legally and safely end a pregnancy that she did not wish to carry forward. In her home state of Texas, as in most other states, abortion was prohibited except when the mother's life was at stake. On Jan. 22, 1973, the Supreme Court handed down its historic 7-to-2 ruling, written by Justice Harry A. Blackmun, articulating a constitutional right to privacy that included the choice to terminate a pregnancy. The ruling established the trimester framework, designed to balance a woman's right to control her body and a state's compelling interest in protecting unborn life. Although later modified, it was a landmark of American jurisprudence and made Jane Roe a figurehead - championed or reviled - in the battle over reproductive rights that continued into the 21st century. McCorvey fully shed her courtroom pseudonym in the 1980s, lending her name first to supporters of abortion rights and then, in a stunning reversal, to the cause's fiercest critics as a born-again Christian. But even after two memoirs, she remained an enigma, as difficult to know as when she shielded her identity behind the name Jane Roe. She admitted that she peddled misinformation about herself, lying about even the most crucial juncture in her life: For years, she claimed that the Roe pregnancy was the result of a rape. In 1987, she recanted, saying that she had become pregnant "through what I thought was love." Although the details of her account were legally unimportant, abortion foes pointed to the lie to discredit McCorvey and her case. According to the most sympathetic tellings of her story, she was a victim of abuse, financial hardship, drug and alcohol addiction, and personal frailty. For much of her life, she subsisted at the margins of society, making ends meet, according to various accounts, as a bartender, a maid, a roller-skating carhop and a house painter. She found a measure of stability with a lesbian partner, Connie Gonzalez, but even that relationship reportedly ended in bitterness after 35 years. Harsher judgments presented McCorvey as a user who trolled for attention and cash. Abortion rights activists questioned her motives when McCorvey decamped in 1994, after years as a poster child for their cause, and was baptized in a swimming pool by the evangelical minister at the helm of the antiabortion group Operation Rescue. The minister, Flip Benham, told Prager, who profiled McCorvey in Vanity Fair magazine in 2013, that he had come to see McCorvey as someone who "just fishes for money." By her own description, she was "a simple woman with a ninth-grade education." She presented herself as the victim of her attorneys, Linda Coffee and Sarah Weddington, whom she accused of exploiting the predicament of her unwanted pregnancy to score a victory for the abortion rights cause. Roe v. Wade, which became a class-action suit, was a watershed for women in general but irrelevant for McCorvey in particular. After an initial court victory for her, Texas mounted an appeal that dragged on long past McCorvey's due date. By the time the Supreme Court announced its decision, her baby was 2 1/2 years old. She had given the child up for adoption and learned of the ruling in a newspaper article. Norma Nelson - her middle name was variously spelled Lea, Leah and Leigh - was born in Simmesport, Louisiana, on Sept. 22, 1947. Her father, a television repairman, was largely absent from her life. She grew up in Texas, spending part of her adolescence in a Catholic boarding school and at a reform school for delinquents. Her mother told Prager that she beat her daughter in fits of rage over the "wild" behavior that included sexual promiscuity with men and women. In her teens, Norma began a short-lived marriage to a sheet-metal worker, Elwood "Woody" McCorvey. Her mother raised their daughter, Melissa. McCorvey's second baby, born out of wedlock, was adopted by another family. She said she became pregnant with the Roe baby during a relationship in Dallas. An adoption lawyer referred her to Coffee who, like Weddington, was a recent law school graduate seeking a plaintiff to test the constitutionality of the Texas abortion law. At the time, many well-to-do women seeking abortions traveled to states or countries where the procedure was legal or easily available, according to Leslie J. Reagan, a historian and the author of the volume "When Abortion Was a Crime: Women, Medicine, and Law in the United States, 1867-1973." Women like McCorvey, who did not have money to travel, had several undesirable options. They could entrust themselves to abortion providers who were not medical professionals or attempt to perform abortions on themselves - decisions that frequently resulted in infection or death - or they could obtain no abortion at all. McCorvey was not the first plaintiff to challenge a state abortion law, but Roe v. Wade was the first such case to work its way through the appeals process to the Supreme Court. She used the pseudonym Jane Roe to protect her privacy. The defendant, Wade, was the Dallas County district attorney, Henry Wade, an official responsible for enforcing Texas abortion laws. Years later, McCorvey expressed bitterness at what she described as her attorneys' unwillingness to help her find what she needed - an abortion, even an illegal one. "Sarah sat right across the table from me at Columbo's pizza parlor, and I didn't know until two years ago that she had had an abortion herself," McCorvey told the New York Times in 1994. "When I told her then how desperately I needed one, she could have told me where to go for it. But she wouldn't because she needed me to be pregnant for her case." "Sarah saw these cuts on my wrists, my swollen eyes from crying," she continued, "the miserable person sitting across from her, and she knew she had a patsy. She knew I wouldn't go outside of the realm of her and Linda. I was too scared. It was one of the most hideous times of my life." After the Supreme Court ruling, McCorvey did not live in total anonymity, as has been erroneously reported, but lived a mainly private existence before revealing herself in interviews and then in a memoir written with Andy Meisler, "I Am Roe" (1994). She worked in abortion clinics, "trying to please everyone and trying to be hardcore pro-choice," she told Time magazine. "That is a very heavy burden," she said. Moreover, she said that her social background as a poor high school dropout made her ill at ease among the largely upper-class and well-educated activists who helped make abortion a matter of urgent national importance in the 1960s and 1970s. "I wasn't good enough for them," she once said. "I'm a street kid." Her conversion came about when Benham, the head of Operation Rescue, opened an office near one of McCorvey's clinics and befriended her. She announced that she opposed abortion rights except in the first trimester - a position that put her in fundamental conflict with other antiabortion activists, who opposed abortion in all circumstances. Nevertheless, her defection was hailed as a victory for their cause. Weddington looked suspiciously on McCorvey's conversion and once described her former client as a person who "really craved and sought attention." McCorvey attributed her philosophical reversal to her being "worried about salvation." She wrote another memoir, "Won By Love" (1997), with co-author Gary Thomas, founded the Dallas-based Roe No More ministry and reportedly became a Catholic. She participated in antiabortion protests and was arrested in 2009 for disrupting the Senate confirmation hearings on Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court. Gloria Allred, the women's rights lawyer who for a period represented McCorvey, told the Times in 1995 that McCorvey was justified in feeling abandoned by the women's movement. "She was shut out of many national pro-choice celebrations. She attended but for the most part she was not invited and it was a very hurtful experience," Allred said. "When she did speak . . . she was really very eloquent, not well-educated but speaking from the heart, and I think she had a lot of common sense in what she was saying about choice." But neither did McCorvey find a comfortable home among conservatives in the antiabortion movement, many of whom regarded lesbianism as immoral. "Neither side was ever willing to accept her for who she was," the historian David J. Garrow, a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer and the author of "Liberty and Sexuality: The Right to Privacy and the Making of Roe v. Wade," said in an interview. McCorvey supported herself in part through honoraria, book royalties and other income she generated from her role in the abortion debate. By 2013, according to Prager's article in Vanity Fair, McCorvey was relying on "free room and board from strangers." Survivors include her daughter Melissa and two grandchildren. Nothing is publicly known of the two children McCorvey gave up for adoption, according to Prager. "I don't require that much in my life," McCorvey told the Times in 1994. "I just never had the privilege to go into an abortion clinic, lay down and have an abortion. That's the only thing I never had." (c) 2017, The Washington Post. Emily Langer wrote this story.
21 points by The Plain Dealer | Roe v. Wade Abortion Supreme Court of the United States Norma McCorvey Pro-choice Abortion debate Sarah Weddington Abortion law
McCorvey, who was at center of Roe v. Wade, dies
McCorvey was unmarried, unemployed and pregnant for the third time when in 1969 she sought to have an abortion in Texas        
-2 points by The Detroit News | Roe v. Wade Supreme Court of the United States Abortion Norma McCorvey David Souter Sarah Weddington Abortion debate Pro-choice
Norma McCorvey, 'Roe' in Roe v. Wade, is dead at 69
Later in her life McCorvey became an anti-abortion activist.         
-2 points by Arizona Republic | Roe v. Wade Supreme Court of the United States Abortion law Norma McCorvey Abortion Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution Law Abortion debate
Norma McCorvey, aka Jane Roe of landmark abortion case, dies
Eric DuVallFeb. 18 (UPI) -- Norma McCorvey, who was Jane Roe in the 1973 case Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion in the U.S., died of heart failure, her biographer said. She was 69.
17 points by UPI | Roe v. Wade Norma McCorvey Supreme Court of the United States Sarah Weddington United States Linda Coffee Abortion debate Abortion
Roe v. Wade plaintiff Norma McCorvey dies at age 69
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...
2547 points by New York Post | Roe v. Wade Abortion Supreme Court of the United States Norma McCorvey United States McCorvey v. Hill Abortion debate Abortion law
McCorvey, who was at center of Roe v. Wade, dead at 69
The Washington Post reports Norma McCorvey died in an assisted-living facility in Texas.
162 points by Chicago Sun-Times | Roe v. Wade Supreme Court of the United States Abortion Norma McCorvey David Souter Sarah Weddington Abortion debate Sonia Sotomayor
Reports: Norma McCorvey, 'Roe' in Roe v. Wade, is dead at 69
Later in her life McCorvey became an anti-abortion activist.        
-2 points by Detroit Free Press | Roe v. Wade Law Supreme Court of the United States Abortion debate Abortion Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution Abortion law Norma McCorvey
Norma McCorvey, once-anonymous plaintiff in 'Roe vs. Wade,' dies at 69
Norma McCorvey, the once-anonymous plaintiff in the “Roe vs. Wade” case that led to the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing abortion, has died. She was 69.  McCorvey, who later joined the anti-abortion movement, died Saturday in Katy, Texas, the Associated Press reported. As the plaintiff in Roe...
5350 points by Los Angeles Times | Roe v. Wade Abortion Abortion law Supreme Court of the United States Abortion debate Norma McCorvey Sarah Weddington Pro-choice
Norma McCorvey, Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, dies at 69
Norma McCorvey, who was 22, unwed, mired in addiction and poverty, and desperate for a way out of an unwanted pregnancy when she became Jane Roe, the pseudonymous plaintiff of the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade that established a constitutional right to an abortion, died Saturday at an assisted-living facility in Katy, Texas. She was 69.
7 points by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | Roe v. Wade Abortion Supreme Court of the United States Norma McCorvey Abortion debate Sarah Weddington Abortion law Pro-choice
Senate committee hears debate on abortion bills
The state's latest legislative battle over reproductive rights kicked off on Wednesday with the Senate Health and Human Services committee's first public hearings on three abortion-related bills.  
3 points by The Houston Chronicle | Abortion Pregnancy Pro-choice Abortion debate Fetus United States Senate United States Congress Human rights
Catholic Archbishop compares abortion to Nazi eugenics program
Brisbane’s Archbishop Mark Coleridge has compared Queensland’s proposed decriminalization of abortion to Nazi Germany’s eugenics program. The priest is facing backlash over his comments from politicians pushing for reform. Read Full Article at RT.com
1726 points by Russia Today | Abortion Pregnancy Fetus Abortion debate Pro-choice Woman Fetal rights Nazism
Planned Parenthood protest in Detroit turns into women’s rights rally
An anti-abortion demonstration looked more like a women's rights rally in Detroit as 300 opponents swarmed the event.        
-2 points by Detroit Free Press | Abortion Pro-choice Human rights Pregnancy Reproductive rights Birth control Abortion debate Roe v. Wade
Las Vegas rally protests federal funding for Planned Parenthood
About 50 people gathered at one of the Las Vegas Valley’s two Planned Parenthood locations, 3220 W. Charleston Blvd., and stood quietly on the sidewalks surrounding the clinic, chatting or reciting the Hail Mary prayer.
685 points by Las Vegas Review-Journal | Roe v. Wade Health care Abortion Las Vegas metropolitan area Health care provider Hail Mary Abortion debate Protest
Anti-abortion activists, counter-protesters rally across U.S.
SEATTLE — Anti-abortion activists emboldened by the new administration of President Donald Trump staged rallies around the country Saturday calling for the federal government to cut off payments to Planned Parenthood, but in some cities counter-protests dwarfed the demonstrations.
6 points by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | Pro-choice Abortion Birth control Abortion debate Human rights Roe v. Wade Reproductive rights Pregnancy
Planned Parenthood protest turns into women’s rights rally
An anti-abortion demonstration looked more like a women's rights rally in Detroit as 300 opponents swarmed the event.        
-2 points by Detroit Free Press | Abortion Pro-choice Pregnancy Human rights Reproductive rights Birth control Abortion debate Roe v. Wade
Anti-abortion activists, counter-protesters rally around US
SEATTLE — Anti-abortion activists emboldened by the new administration of President Donald Trump staged rallies around the country Saturday calling for the federal government to cut off payments to Planned Parenthood, but in some cities counter-protests dwarfed the demonstrations.
-2 points by Boston Herald | Pro-choice Abortion Birth control Abortion debate Human rights Roe v. Wade Reproductive rights Pregnancy
Planned Parenthood protesters face its supporters
An anti-abortion demonstration looked more like a women's rights rally in Detroit as 300 opponents swarmed the event.        
-2 points by Detroit Free Press | Abortion Pro-choice Pregnancy Human rights Reproductive rights Birth control Abortion debate Roe v. Wade
Ohio effort would ban most abortions after 13 weeks
Abortion opponents want to outlaw a surgical procedure, dilation and evacuation.       
580 points by USA Today | Abortion Roe v. Wade Abortion debate Human rights Pregnancy Pro-choice Fetus George W. Bush
8 countries join fight to counter Trump's anti-abortion move
Trump has banned funding for groups that provide information about abortion.       
1529 points by USA Today | Abortion Abortion debate Netherlands Maternal death United States Agency for International Development European Union Barack Obama International trade
Tennessee woman charged with attempting coat hanger abortion
A woman is facing three felony charges after nearly bleeding out from an attempted coat hanger abortion at 24 weeks. Anna Yocca, 32, was arrested in December for attempting to terminate her pregnancy in Tennessee, a state with only seven abortion clinics. Read Full Article at RT.com
1061 points by Russia Today | Abortion Roe v. Wade Abortion law Pregnancy Reproductive rights Self-induced abortion Abortion debate Abortion clinic
Campaign ad targets Heck’s votes to defund Planned Parenthood
A new ad from a pro-abortion group backing Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Catherine Cortez Masto hits Nevada’s airwaves today, continuing the attacks that seek to characterize her Republican opponent Rep. Joe Heck as ...
-1 points by Las Vegas Sun | Pro-choice Abortion Voting Democracy Crime United States Senate Woman Abortion debate